• Climate hub
  • 16 Sep 2021
  • 3 min read

Is your business eligible for funding to decarbonise?

By Amy Hamilton Chadwick

Find out what funding is available

And how you might be able to access it to decarbonise your business.

We’re on the pathway to a cleaner and greener economy, and the Government is providing some support to help decarbonise New Zealand. For individuals, there are the rebates on electric vehicles. And there’s also funding for businesses: the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry Fund (GIDI) and the Low Emission Transport Fund (LETF).  

GIDI funding for process heat projects

Manufacturing businesses often generate heat for their own processing, known as process heat. Process heat makes up roughly one third of New Zealand’s overall energy use – and gas and coal are the major sources of fuel. Moving from fossil-fuelled process heat to renewable sources is an important way to decarbonise our economy, and funding for some businesses is available through GIDI.

There is $69 million available through the GIDI Fund, although it’s mainly large businesses that are eligible, explains Jonathan Pooch, Managing Director at DETA Consulting. DETA supports businesses on their decarbonisation journey and has assisted in the development of a number of projects that have secured GIDI funding.

Does your business qualify for GIDI Funding?

“To qualify, your project has to focus on reducing non-renewable process heat consumption. This usually means boiler conversions or heating-based system conversions and upgrades,” says Pooch.

“The grant funding is competitive, so it’s most suited for sites that already have a project they’re working on or have seriously thought about. It’s a way to fast track a boiler conversion, for instance, because it can improve the economic proposition.”

The threshold for a GIDI project is a total project cost of at least $500,000, but Pooch says the true cost of projects is always higher than the equipment costs alone. So if you have an upgrade where the equipment might cost $250,000 or more? You should think about applying.

Business funding for electric transport

Prior to launching the EV rebates, there was a fund for accelerating EV uptake. That fund has now become the LETF, which will provide $25 million a year toward innovative low emissions projects and adopting proven commercial technologies. The details have not yet been released, but this could be an opportunity for businesses which have high transport emissions.

“The LETF is not for standard technology like switching your car to an EV,” Pooch says. “It might be a fleet of trucks, or installing EV chargers, or something new like electric tractors.” It also covers maritime and off-road transport applications, going beyond vehicles.

Pooch believes the LETF, like GIDI, will require applicants to complete a template and funding is not guaranteed – it’s akin to a tender response. Having plenty of information about your project and its benefits will be hugely helpful; “This is competitive funding and they’re very much targeting ‘bang for buck’ on projects.”

How businesses can start to reduce carbon emissions

Even if your business doesn’t qualify for either GIDI or LETF funding, that doesn’t mean you can’t make an effort to decarbonise. Start by identifying your major sustainability challenge, says Pooch: “Understand what the key issues are for you and focus on those. It might be vehicles. It might be a small coal boiler, a diesel boiler, water use or electricity. Understand the challenge and focus on that big issue.”

You can get more insights and information on decarbonising with DETA’s webinars.

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