Agriculture Energy Investment Plan
Energy is a significant cost for farmers. The Victorian Government is working to reduce the impact of higher energy costs on farm businesses through the $30 million Agricultural Energy Investment Plan.
The plan will support agricultural businesses to reduce energy costs, improve energy efficiency and explore alternative energy options, helping to sustain Victoria's adaptable and internationally competitive agriculture sector.
The plan comprises of:
- assessments– providing on-farm energy assessments to assist farmers in identifying where they may reduce energy consumption
- grants – to support farmers invest in energy efficiencies or own-generation capacity
- demonstrations – showing energy efficiency measures on-farm
- skills and education – to improve skills and knowledge of energy efficiency opportunities and technology
- research – facilitating partnerships to commercialise research for the farming sector.
Agriculture Victoria's On-Farm Energy Survey captured key insights about the pressure points experienced by famers and the barriers to investing in energy efficient technology. This data has shaped the development of the plan, ensuring it meets industry's needs.
The survey revealed that investment costs, the speed of technological change and uncertainty about implementation were preventing Victorian farmers from improving their energy efficiency and pursuing alternative energy options.
The plan will be a partnership between primary producers, agricultural groups, educational groups and government.
The Agriculture Energy Investment Plan is funded by the government's $200 million Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund which supports projects that improve farm productivity, boost market access, grow exports and increase jobs.
Read the Agriculture Energy Investment Plan here:
Read case studies about farms putting in energy efficiency measures:
See the infographic explaining the On-Farm Energy Survey responses:
Frequently Asked Questions
What did farmers tell us in the On-Farm Energy Survey?
215 farmers participated in our survey regarding on-farm energy use, costs and efficiency. They said there were a number of barriers preventing or discouraging them from investing in energy efficiency measures. These included the high cost of investment in new more efficient equipment, not able to see the benefits of these investments, the difficulty in keeping up with technology and the need for demonstrated results. The Agriculture Energy Investment Plan has been developed to address these barriers and provide advice, confidence and assistance to farmers.
Do I need to have an on-farm energy assessment completed before I apply for government assistance?
Yes - completing an assessment will identify what improvements could be made on-farm. This will inform the grants process. Investments recommended from previous assessments completed outside this plan may be considered and assessed on a case by case basis.
What will these assessments tell me about my business that I don't already know?
The assessors will have specialist knowledge on the latest technology, programs and processes to improve energy efficiency and reduce costs. They can provide information not just where improvements can be made, but the best solution for your situation and where you can find support to implement changes to processes or fund new investments.
How is this program different from other programs and tailored specifically for farmers and agricultural businesses?
The Agricultural Energy Investment Plan is specifically designed to respond to the issues faced by Victorian primary producers. We listened to what farmers had to tell us and know we are acting on their concerns. Notably, the program will assist small and medium size operators map energy efficiency opportunities and facilitate productivity boosting investment.
What type of initiatives will be eligible for financial support?
This will depend on the recommendations of the independent energy assessments. The assessments will provide a blueprint for investment opportunities that could help to reduce energy costs. This could be through purchasing new, more energy efficient equipment such as pumps or lighting or installing own-generation capacity such as solar panels.
Will this program make a difference?
Yes. Industry groups and farmers have told us that primary producers are feeling the pressure of rising costs and international prices. The energy assessment element of the program means that independent experts will conduct on site assessments and identify opportunities tailored to the unique circumstances of each farm. This will ensure that any investment under the program will map opportunities to boost productivity and reduce costs, helping to improve efficiency and ensure value for money.
How do I apply to get an energy assessment or grant?
Register your details and be kept up-to-date on the latest developments on the Agriculture Energy Investment Plan, including details on when and how to apply for on-farm assessments and grants.