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Traralgon businesses discuss potential for energy savings

8 December 2015

Energy cost savings of 30 to 50 per cent are possible, and Traralgon businesses are well positioned to achieve them with finance for solar and energy efficiency upgrades.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation's Head of Portfolio Management Paul Greenop says energy efficient technologies and solar have the potential to deliver energy cost savings and, depending on the equipment, transform small business operations through improved capacity and reduced maintenance costs.

"What a great way to kick off 2016 - by planning now to improve your business operations for the years ahead," Mr Greenop said.

"When people think energy efficiency they think light bulbs, but it's so much more than that. Here in Victoria, finance from the CEFC and Commonwealth Bank has helped fresh produce suppliers reduce their grid-electricity consumption with new refrigeration, solar and even a purpose-built fruit grader.

"There are family businesses with air-conditioning systems that have been around longer than some of their employees. If you're one of them, it's time to think about replacement. People expect their energy to go further these days and today's replacement equipment and systems are designed to use far less energy than old models."

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation co-hosted a business seminar with the Commonwealth Bank at the Century Inn, Latrobe Valley on 8 December 2015 to discuss the ways businesses can cut energy costs.

Guest presenters included Michael Bellstedt, whose company MINUS40, helped Radevski Coolstores at Shepparton reduce its energy costs by over $140,000 a year through the installation of an ammonia-based refrigeration system servicing 16 cool rooms.

Also presenting were Mark Gadd of Autonomous Energy and Yolanda Sztarr from Sustainability Victoria who discusses the opportunities available for business, while Commonwealth Bank Chief Economist Craig James gave broad insights into the shape of the Australian economy.

The seminar also discussed how the CEFC and Commonwealth Bank's Energy Efficient Loan program has already worked for Australian businesses. For example: 

  • Plastics manufacturer Global Roto-Moulding expects to almost halve the oven energy use at its Victoria and Queensland operations through upgrades to its moulding ovens
  • Apple and Chestnut producer Nightingale Bros at Wandiligong upgraded and cut its refrigeration energy costs by just under 40 per cent
  • Col Crawford Lifestyle Cars in Sydney is expecting to halve its electricity use through LED lighting and solar installation
  • Bankstown Sports in Sydney made its chiller system 50 per cent more efficient and solar energy now generates about 10 per cent of the energy needs at its Baulkham Hills premises.

Traralgon seminar attendees received complimentary copies of EnergyCut, a handy guide which provides step-by-step instructions for making changes to everyday business practices to further reduce energy costs. EnergyCut is joint initiative of not-for-profit positive-change organisation Do Something and the Council of Small Business Australia, with support from the Australian Government Department of Industry and Science.


The Energy Efficient Loan program provides financing for projects valued at up to $5 million. The finance program includes $100 million for business loans, which can be used for a range of projects covering energy efficiency, low emissions technology and small-scale renewable projects.

The program provides favourable fixed rate loans in comparison with standard equipment loans. The 3-7 year loans can be for up to 100 per cent of the purchase price, allowing businesses to preserve working capital. The equipment itself typically acts as security, leaving equity in the business free for other purposes.

More information about the Energy Efficient Loan program is available from local Commonwealth Bank representatives, or by phoning 1800 277 397.

Media release, 2015

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