Carbon Neutral Government Loan Fund

The ACT Government’s carbon neutral commitment

The ACT Government currently contributes 5% of the Territory’s greenhouse gas emissions. The Government will lead by example, reducing its emissions and achieving carbon neutrality across all government operations and services by 2020. This will be achieved by:

  • measuring and monitoring the energy performance of government buildings and assets using the Enterprise Sustainability Platform
  • implementing climate change mitigation measures with a focus on increasing energy efficiency
  • addressing residual emissions with carbon offsets if required by 2020.

The ACT Government has established a zero-interest Carbon Neutral Government Fund (the Fund) to assist government directorates and agencies transition to carbon neutrality at least cost.

Canberra-based businesses looking for similar support should refer to the Innovation Connect grant program.

The Fund

The 2012-2013 ACT Budget provided $5 million to establish the Carbon Neutral Government Fund. Absorbing the former Resource Management Fund (an existing loan facility of $1.9 million), the Fund provides support to ACT Government agencies to invest in efficiency projects that will reduce energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and minimise the impact of rising energy costs.
The Fund boosts the number of clean economy projects in the ACT and contributes to local employment opportunities: key elements of the ACT Business Development Strategy.

The Fund operates as a revolving loan facility for projects at existing non-residential sites and energy-using assets and is accessible to ACT Government directorates and agencies. Recipients repay the loans back into the Fund with the savings achieved from efficiency upgrades over an agreed timeframe. For example, a loan for a lighting retrofit project might be repaid in full within three years of implementation.

The Fund offers two application streams:

The Fund has supported a wide range of energy efficiency projects. Dame Pattie Menzies House and the CIT Bruce campus case studies are examples of projects supported by the Fund.

Project examples that can be considered for funding include:

  • retrofitting energy efficient lighting and/or control systems throughout an office or facility
  • improving heating and cooling equipment
  • installing smart energy management systems
  • installing solar hot water systems
  • introducing cogeneration technology
  • replacing inefficient equipment such as refrigerators or freezers.

Energy efficiency underpins carbon neutral efforts

Reducing energy consumption is the most cost-effective way to cut greenhouse gas emissions and achieve carbon neutrality by 2020. A program of continuous investment in improving a facility or an agency’s energy efficiency minimises the future cost of offsetting greenhouse gas emissions. Many efficiency initiatives pay for themselves through cost savings within a few months or years. These savings can then be used to help pay for other investments in efficiency projects or renewable energy. The expansion of loan funding supports investment in a greater number and range of energy efficiency projects by Government agencies.

Further information:

The Fund application guidelines provide detailed information for prospective recipients:

To discuss a project please contact the Fund administrator on (02) 6207 3728 or the Energy Project Officers on (02) 6207 9190.

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