Free energy assessments for small businesses

We have filled the available places for this pilot program and will not be taking further applications. You can register your interest by emailing [email protected] and you will be contacted if another round opens in the future.

To explore other available rebates visit our Sustainability Incentive Scheme page.

Get your energy assessed and receive up to $5,000 towards upgrades.

About the program

The City of Adelaide is offering free energy assessments to 50 small businesses in the accommodation, food services and retail sectors to assist with reducing energy costs. Money back is available for those businesses who make energy saving changes.

The free technical energy assessment will identify energy-saving opportunities and estimate potential electricity and gas bills savings.

Business are then eligible for 80% rebate, up to a maximum of $5,000, to cover the implementation of the energy saving opportunities outlined in the energy assessment report.

By supporting energy savings, this program aims to help businesses to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions and lower greenhouse gas emissions in the city.

Who’s eligible

To receive the assessment and be eligible for rebates on recommended upgrades, you must:

  • be one of the first 50 to apply
  • be located in the City of Adelaide local government area including the Adelaide CBD and North Adelaide (postcodes 5000 and 5006)
  • hold a valid ABN
  • maintain a valid lease or freehold
  • employ up to approximately 20 full-time equivalent staff.

 We encourage the following businesses to apply:

  • restaurants and catering businesses
  • small accommodation providers
  • pubs
  • larger retail businesses
  • gyms
  • beauty facilities
  • laundries.

Sport and recreation clubs, not-for-profit organisations, and community-orientated businesses that include a food or retail services facility will be eligible recipients.

Temporary accommodation services providers, such as AirBnB, are not eligible.

Upgrades you can claim

There are a range of upgrades that will be eligible. The most likely to be suggested are:

  • equipment replacement including refrigerators, freezers, cooking, and catering equipment
  • lighting upgrades (including LED lighting replacements) which are additional or outside of those funded by Retailer Energy Productivity Scheme (REPS)
  • hot water system upgrades including changing gas hot water to electric heat pump or solar/PV boosted systems
  • other energy upgrades which reduce the operating cost of the business.

Note: If there are other schemes that the business is eligible for or other programs, for example discounted or free lighting upgrades, the assessor will provide this advice.

How to apply

Apply online

To take part in this program, you need to apply online.

Before you apply, please review the terms and conditions and have your previous electricity and gas bills ready.

Book an assessment

If deemed eligible, you will receive a phone call to book a time for the energy assessment site visit in May or June 2021. 

The experienced assessor will:

  • visit your premises to speak with a business representative and look at all the energy-using appliances, plus heating and cooling
  • review copies of energy bills
  • identify eligible upgrades
  • provide a report and Action Plan with recommended energy and water improvements.

Implement recommended upgrades 

You can apply for rebates towards one or more of the recommendations from the Action Plan.

Rebates are only provided after the business has completed and paid for the upgrades.

Claim your rebate

An 80% rebate of up to $5,000 for implemented changes is available following:

  • completion of an online rebate application form and uploading of tax invoices/receipts for the completed upgrades as listed in the Action Plan received as part of the energy assessment.
  • a verification site visit by the assessor at no cost to the business and arranged by the City of Adelaide to confirm the upgrades has been implemented.

Frequently asked questions

Experienced energy assessors contracted by the City of Adelaide will use a standardised methodology to identify the best value upgrades, tailored to your business.

We have engaged a highly qualified team of specialists to undertake energy assessments.

Peter Moser
Peter is a civil and environmental engineer who has worked in consultancy with an environmental engineering focus since 2007. His work includes energy efficiency, energy contracting, energy performance contracting, waste minimisation and water conservations. Peter is an environmental auditor to ISO 14000 series, LEED accredited professional and has an electrical worker’s licence.

Quentin Roberts
With over 20 years’ engineering experience across the industrial and commercial sectors, including a decade specialising in energy. He is a certified energy coach and advises some of Australia’s largest energy users. He is one of the country’s leading specialists in ISO 50001 - the international standard for energy management systems - and played an integral role in guiding the first Australian company to achieve an ISO 50001 accredited Energy Management System.

Anna Pfarr
Anna is a project manager and consultant who undertakes collection and analysis of energy, water, waste and materials data to support the development of sound technical and commercial cases for energy efficiency improvement and renewable energy opportunities.

Luke Christiansen
Luke works as a project engineer on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and carbon management projects. He conducts energy audits across all sectors including commercial buildings, heritage-listed buildings, government/council-owned assets such as leisure centres and visitor centres, hotels, manufacturing, farms/agribusinesses.

Rachel Brdanovic
Rachel holds a Master of Sustainability and is a Climate Active registered consultant. She has worked in the energy sector for over a decade, and specialises in providing advice and support on energy efficiency and carbon management. She works with businesses of all sizes, and local government, to reduce their energy use, carbon footprint and operating costs through practical recommendations.

Tom Brdanovic
Tom is a CEC-accredited solar PV designer who has worked as an energy specialist for 12 years. He provides advice to clients helping them to understand the benefits of renewable energy, energy efficiency and good design. His broad industry knowledge enables him to support businesses through the assessment, feasibility, procurement and implementation stages of their energy projects.

The visit will typically take up to 1–3 hours, depending on the size of the premises. The assessor will walk you through their process and may provide you with tips on behavioural changes you can make while they are there.

You will then receive a written report and Action Plan that estimates the upfront cost and savings of the recommended upgrades and changes.

All costs and savings projections will be estimated by experienced specialist assessors. You will need to get supplier quotes to confirm.

We strongly recommend that the person who is responsible for capital expenditure on the premises attends while the assessment takes place.

  • Operational policy or staff training, although assessor can provide the business with some advice in this respect during the site visit.
  • Upgrades that include smart load control, solar PV or battery storage that are eligible for City of Adelaide funding under the Sustainability Incentives Scheme.
  • Lighting upgrades or other works (including LED lighting replacements) funded by Retailer Energy Productivity Scheme (REPS). The assessor may give advice on whether the business is eligible for a free LED lighting replacement via other programs.
  • Energy or water contracts.
  • Low impact water efficiency upgrades such as tap fitting replacement.

Note: Assessors may discuss energy supply upgrades (solar or battery storage) or load control that are eligible for separate funding under the City of Adelaide Sustainability Incentives Scheme (SIS). A business may choose to also apply for SIS rebates as well as being eligible for energy savings upgrades identified in their Action Plan.

You must first have an energy assessment done through the City of Adelaide online booking process.

Once you have received a report and Action Plan from the assessor, you can go ahead and implement any of the recommendations of your choice, within 6 months of receiving the report.

You will need to pay for any upgrades up front and following installation you will need to submit the claim via City of Adelaide online portal, with any supporting documentation specified along with the Action Plan. (e.g., tax invoices, proof of payment, and electrical certificates of compliance where relevant).

Once submitted, an assessor will verify the installation with a visit to the premises, and then the City of Adelaide will make the payment via EFT transfer. 

Rebates will be for up to $5,000, which can contribute up to 80% of the implementation cost. You must apply for the rebate within 6 months of installation.

Each business who has an assessment undertaken can only claim one payment of $5,000 under this program.

You can claim multiple upgrades from the same Action Plan to this amount.

The assessment may also identify upgrades eligible for funding under the Sustainability Incentives Scheme.

There is no obligation to go ahead with any recommended upgrades. 

Businesses who have an assessment done will be eligible to implement project/s up to 6 months after they receive their report and Action Plan. Following implementation, the business must apply for a rebate within 6 months.

City of Adelaide intends to track the cumulative benefit of our program.

The Terms and Conditions of your rebate will include your consent to allow City of Adelaide to access energy use data via the energy service provider, for future reporting.

This will be used to report cumulative totals, not to identify individual businesses.

We will also ask you to keep your next 12 months energy bills to cross-check against.

We may also ask for your testimonial on participation and savings achieved to use in promotional material.

The personal information submitted via the application form is provided to the energy assessor to enable the processing of your application. If all or some of the personal information is not collected the assessor cannot process your application. See the City of Adelaide privacy statement.

In the City of Adelaide businesses can investigate the Sustainability Incentives Scheme on  funding for solar power, battery storage, and more.

Building Upgrade Finance is available for environmental and heritage upgrades for commercial buildings in the City of Adelaide. This is a finance product providing long term, fixed rate finance with the ability to share costs with the tenant. Property owners in other areas can check with their local Council to see whether Building Upgrade Finance is available.

Under the Retailer Productivity Scheme (REPS), business may be able to access discounts and offers for lighting upgrades and other products. Contact your electricity retailer or see the scheme’s Third Party Providers for possible opportunities.