Farms and small businesses in drought affected areas will receive much needed Government support to reduce their energy costs and improve energy efficiency as part of the Business Energy Advice Program (BEAP).
The Liberal National Government will extend the BEAP advisory service to small businesses with five or fewer employees that have been adversely affected by drought, including farm and non-farm businesses.
BEAP provides two free services: a personalised energy advice service, and an online tool to help business owners compare energy spend and understand their energy saving opportunities.
The personalised energy advice service is currently only available to small businesses with 6-20 employees.
Minister for Agriculture Bridget McKenzie said the Government is taking real action to support farmers during this long and damaging drought.
“We know that drought means weaker economic conditions with less spending in the community, particularly in regional areas, that in turn can lead to employers having to let staff go. Expanding access to BEAP adds a little extra help to the drought relief package announced by the Government” Minister McKenzie said.
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said opening up BEAP to farms and family businesses affected by the drought will provide some relief in reduced energy costs and stress levels throughout this tough period.
“The changes to this program will help farmers and small businesses like bakers or butchers make practical changes to equipment and usage to improve energy efficiency and experience real energy savings. In times of drought, recognising savings where you can is extremely important,” Minister Taylor said.
Personalised BEAP energy consultations are delivered by the New South Wales Business Chamber, either face-to-face or over the phone.
They help small businesses understand how to save energy, choose the best energy plan for their business, and get tailored advice on energy efficiency opportunities best suited to their needs.
BEAP is already making a difference in regional communities. The Griffith branch of the Yenda Producers Co-Operative participated in the pilot. “I think this program is unique because it is a genuine way to get in contact with farming families and enable them to save on their electricity bills.” Peter Taprell, Branch Manager – Yenda Producers Co-Op Society Ltd.
BEAP launched on 31 July 2019 and has already seen over 1,450 businesses register for their free business energy advice consultation. Over 850 businesses have already received a consultation and started their saving journey.
BEAP has seen 115 drought affected businesses register and 67 have received BEAP consultations.
The BEAP online tool, the Small Business Energy Check, lets small businesses across Australia compare their energy spend to similar businesses in their industry and region, and shows whether they are paying too much for their energy. It can be used on its own or in conjunction with a Business Energy Advice consultation.
BEAP is an $11.7 million initiative as part of the Government’s commitment to make energy more affordable.
For more information about the program visit energy.gov.au/government-priorities/energy-programs/business-energy-advice-program.