The Victorian Government has announced $30million in funding to help Victorian farmers manage energy costs through improved efficiency and new technology.
The plan is aimed at helping farmers reduce energy costs, maintain competitiveness and create jobs by providing on-farm energy assessments, as well as grants to improve energy efficiency and install renewable energy systems.
The VFF has flagged cost, reliability and access to power as the key concerns held by farmers.
An on-farm energy survey undertaken by Agriculture Victoria provided evidence to support an on-farm energy initiative, revealing that investment costs, the speed of technology change and uncertainty about implementation were barriers for farmers in pursuing alternative energy options.
‘‘This plan will better prepare our agricultural sector for the future and reflects our determination to work with farmers to maintain a sustainable, adaptable and internationally competitive agriculture sector,’’ Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford said.
The Agriculture Energy Investment Plan will begin this year and includes $5million in funding for energy efficiency assessments on-farm and $20million in grants to help farmers invest in energy efficiency and generation technology.
‘‘This is about working together to boost business productivity through energy efficiency upgrades and helping reduce energy costs on the farm,’’ Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said.