Electric Businesses

Electrification is one of the most important steps we can take to smooth the path to zero emissions. Over time, switching to all-electric will save businesses thousands of dollars in energy bills.

Installing rooftop solar is one of the best ways to reduce your business's energy bills and emissions. For information about installing rooftop solar on your business, take a look at Solar Victoria's Solar for Business Fact Sheet.

What rebates are available?

Solar Victoria is providing a rebate of 50 per cent, up to $3,500, for eligible business owners to reduce the cost of installing a solar panel system on their place of business. Business owners can save thousands of dollars on their installation and running costs.

This means the total rebate amount will be capped at 50% or $3,500 of the cost on any approved system. For example, if the net costs of solar are $10,000, then the rebate value applied is $3,500 (not $5,000) or if the net costs are $4,000, then the rebate value applied is $2,000 (not $3,500).

To further reduce costs, business owners can apply for an interest-free loan. The loan amount is based on the quote you provide to Solar Victoria. Loans start from $1,000 to a maximum amount of $5,000. Business owners have the option of paying over 12 or 24 months or can repay the loan sooner in one lump sum

Find out if you're eligible for the rebate and interest-free loan on the Solar Victoria website.

What if I can't install solar?

If you’re unable to install solar panels on your roof, you can still access renewable energy!

The GreenPower program is a government managed scheme that enables Australian households and businesses to displace their electricity usage with certified renewable energy, which is added to the grid on their behalf. The majority of energy retailers offer certified GreenPower, which costs on average an additional 5-8c per KWh equating to a few extra dollars a week.

Find out more on the GreenPower website.

Improving energy efficiency reduce emissions, energy consumption and costs for businesses. Many energy efficiency actions have short payback periods of under two years.

Common electricity consumption areas to consider upgrading includes lighting, HVAC and building management systems, however specific business and industries are likely to have more energy intensive equipment like boilers, large refrigerators, pumps etc.

Once you have done the basics, a professional energy assessment will help to identify the most viable opportunities through understanding an individual business’ operations and the types and age of their equipment. You can find more information about energy audits, and a list of auditors, on the Sustainability Victoria website.

Electric vehicles (EVs) are cars or other vehicles with motors that are powered by electricity rather than liquid fuels like petroleum and diesel. Since they operate off electricity, EVs have the potential to be powered entirely by renewable energy, unlike fossil fuel powered internal combustion engine vehicles. Also, because EVs produce no tailpipe emissions, they greatly reduce the amount of air pollution in our cities and towns.

EVs are an important part of electrifying our businesses and communities. Across Bass Coast, transport makes up almost 30% of total emissions. Although EV uptake in Australia is lower than other developed countries, the number of EVs is expected to grow as cheaper models arrive and more charging infrastructure becomes available. By the mid 2020s, EVs are expected to match petrol vehicles on upfront price and driving range (ARENA).

Car manufacturers are bringing more and more EV models to Australia, with prices dropping as investment in battery technology increases and the technology continues to improve. New EVs under $50,000 have a range capacity of 480 kilometres, with more expensive vehicles offering even greater range (Electric Vehicle Council). Even in regional areas like Bass Coast, this driving range would be more than enough for many businesses.

What rebates are available?

The Victorian Government’s target is for half of all light vehicle sales in Victoria to be zero emissions vehicles by 2030. Solar Victoria is offering subsidies valued at $3,000 for eligible new zero emissions vehicles. The subsidy is available to Victorians for one vehicle purchase and to businesses for the purchase of up to two vehicles.

Check your eligibility and find out more on the Solar Victoria website.

What other options are available to reduce my business' transport emissions?

If your business isn't ready to upgrade to an EV, or can't yet afford to, there are other options to consider to reduce emissions from business vehicles.

First, consider purchasing more efficient light commercial vehicles at end of life (e.g. replace an older six-cylinder vehicle with a newer four-cylinder vehicle). Larger vehicles cost more to run and create significant carbon emissions. Purchasing the smallest possible vehicle sufficient for business needs will reduce emissions and save money. However, if finances allow, the purchase of an electric vehicle is strongly preferable, even if this means you have to wait another year or two before you upgrade your vehicle.

Second, for diesel trucks, consider transitioning to B20 biodiesel fuel (i.e. blended 80% diesel and 20% biodiesel). Diesel trucks of all types account for 29% of all transport emissions in Bass Coast. Biodiesel is a lower emissions alternative to regular diesel that can be used in most existing diesel vehicles.

Although biodiesel is made from organic matter, consideration should be given to how that organic matter is farmed (i.e. its land use implications and whether agricultural or native land is sacrificed). Examining this trace of origin can be a difficult task particularly as biodiesel is commoditised and distributed widely via petroleum retailers however there are also examples and trials of local biodiesel production using feedstocks such as food waste, algae, used cooking oils etc that are more localised and utilise waste products rather than virgin materials.

Businesses that are looking to go that extra mile and become carbon neutral have an increasing suite of options to help them do so. GreenPower can be purchased from most Australian energy retailers at a small price premium of traditional power and ensures the electricity consumed is offset by renewable generation.

Energy efficiency audits can also be conducted by a certified consultant to help identify shortfalls and improvements to reduce energy use. An energy auditor will usually:

  • evaluate your businesses energy use
  • identify where wastage is occurring
  • recommend improvements
  • estimate the costs and savings
  • help you understand energy bills
  • map out various energy efficiency projects.

Businesses seeking to formally certify their business as carbon neutral can reduce emissions as much as possible and then purchase offsets for the rest - through the federal Climate Active certification program.

Environmental Upgrade Finance (EUF) is an agreement where a building owner borrows money for environmental building upgrades from a financier and makes the repayments through the local council rates system, with the repayments referred to as Environmental Upgrade Charges (EUC).

The program is available for businesses (who own the building or have a long tenancy agreement in place) and homes within select Victorian councils. Loans start at $15,000, with ownerships and maintenance remaining with the building owner and contracts between 4-20 years in duration. New legislation has included homeowners, and costs can be shared with tenants (given adequate communication), with finance transferred at property sale – remaining within the council rate system until repaid. Eligible environmental performance upgrades under the program include: renewable energy generation, energy or water efficiency, waste reduction and climate change adaptation improvements.

Bass Coast Shire Council does not currently offer EUF. However, if your business is interested in using the scheme, please contact us to let us know.

Waste and Recycling

Single-use plastic drinking straws, cutlery, plates, drink-stirrers, expanded polystyrene food and drink containers, and cotton bud sticks will be banned from sale or supply in Victoria from 1 February 2023.

Businesses are encouraged to get ready by running down stocks of banned items now, as well as identifying and sourcing suitable alternatives.

For more information see vic.gov.au/plastics.

Recycling is so important – recovering valuable resources and keeping these resources out of landfill, so they can be reused again and again.

A circular economy is one which keeps resources in use for as long as possible – and this can be achieved by always putting your cardboard into your Recycling bin! Cardboard disposed of in your Bass Coast Recycling bin is sent to Visy to be turned into new cardboard products.

Recently, there’s been a noticeable increase in the amount of cardboard being disposed of in Organics bins – particularly in commercial areas.

Whilst your Organics bins can accept a small amount of nude cardboard only (think pizza boxes - absolutely no sticky tape, no staples, no glossy cardboard) – it’s always best to put cardboard into your Recycling bin.

If your business is generating more cardboard waste than your kerbside Recycling bin can tolerate, remember that it’s free to recycle cardboard at Council’s waste facilities.

Your business may be eligible to receive an additional Recycling bin – conditions and charges apply, so contact Council’s Waste Services team for more information.

Remember – when disposing of cardboard; the Recycling bin is definitely the best option!

Check out Council's website for an A-Z guide to which bin to use for different types of waste.

Remember that if your Recycling bin is full, you can dispose of excess Recyclables (paper, cardboard, glass, aluminium cans, steel cans and recyclable plastics) for free at any of Council's waste facilities.

Can't get to a waste facility? Contact one of the many reputable waste contractors servicing Bass Coast:

Do you know of a business providing Waste Management services in Bass Coast that is not on this list? Please send an email to waste.admin@basscoast.vic.gov.au and we’ll update our information.