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Energy efficiency grants for SMBs Round 2

Extra $41M Boost for SMEs to Reduce Energy Bills

The grant opportunity provides eligible small and medium businesses up to $25,000 to purchase energy-efficient equipment to reduce and manage energy usage and costs.

  • NSW applications open Monday 26 February 2024 12.00pm AEDT


The Energy Efficiency Grants for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Round 2 will support businesses to upgrade or replace inefficient equipment to improve their energy efficiency. These upgrades will enable industries to reduce their energy use, manage energy cost volatility in the long term and contribute to Australia’s target of a 43% reduction in 2005 emission levels by 2030.

The objectives of the program are:

  • improve energy efficiency practices and increase the uptake of energy-efficient technologies
  • assist small and medium businesses to manage their energy usage and costs
  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The intended outcomes of the program are:

  • increase awareness of energy efficiency opportunities and help businesses to save energy
  • reduced power bills for small and medium businesses
  • emissions abatement to contribute to Australia reducing its emissions to 43% below 2005 levels by 2030.

Check if you can apply

The eligibility criteria are a set of rules that describe who we can consider for this grant. You can apply if you:

  • are an eligible entity
  • have an eligible project
  • have eligible expenditure.

The rules are in the grant opportunity guidelines.

Projects cannot be funded if you received any grant funding in the Energy Efficiency Grants for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Round 1 program.

You can only receive one Energy Efficiency Grant for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Round 2 grant per applicant (as determined by your ABN).



Illegal early access to super warning

Accessing your super early may be illegal

Despite what you may have heard or read elsewhere, you cannot access your super before you retire unless you meet one of the very few exceptions to this fundamental rule of superannuation law.

Some may say they can help you set up an SMSF so you can access your super for reasons such as paying off your credit card, buying a house or going on holiday. This is not true — it is illegal.

For most people, you can only access your superannuation when:

  • turn 60 years of age and then cease employment or retire from the workforce
  • you turn 65 years of age (regardless of whether you’re still working or not).

Otherwise, it is illegal. There are only a few reasons that you might be allowed to access your super early. These include temporary or permanent incapacity, severe financial hardship, some compassionate grounds or you have a terminal medical condition. Strict criteria apply to each of these and your superannuation fund administrator will need to assist you in any application for these early release super benefits.

If you illegally access your super early, you risk:

  • losing your retirement savings
  • incurring extra tax, penalties and interest
  • disqualification as a self-managed super fund (SMSF) trustee if relevant, and have your name publicised for doing so.

Be extremely careful if someone offers to help you access your super early.

These ‘promoters’ will often:

  • charge a lot of money
  • ask you to transfer some or all your super from your existing super fund to the SMSF
  • tell you that you can use as much as you need for personal expenses.

Identity theft warning

These promoters may also ask for your personal information. If you provide any personal details, they can steal your identity. With your personal information, they can steal your super for themselves.

Preventative action

If a promoter contacts you, call the ATO on 13 10 20 straight away to get advice.

Do not agree to anything and do not sign any documents or give them your personal details. 


Disclaimer: This article contains general advice only and has been prepared without taking into account particular objectives, financial circumstances and needs. The information provided is not a substitute for legal, tax and financial product advice. Before making any decision based on this information, you should assess its relevance to your individual circumstances. The information provided in this newsletter is objectively ascertainable and therefore does not constitute financial product advice.  If you require personal advice, please contact us to arrange an appointment with one of our licensed SMSF advisors. Source: ATO

Be in control of your retirement

Be in control of your retirement

Are you approaching retirement?

Then chances are the funding of your lifestyle in retirement may be on your mind.

Take steps now to avoid getting caught short on retirement income and live the retirement lifestyle you want.

The qualifying age is increasing by six months every two years until it reaches 67 in July 2023. The Age Pension age increased to 66 and a half on 1 July 2021.

If for example, you are planning to retire at 60 you will need to wait until you’re 67 before you can apply for the Age Pension. You’ll have to rely on your own savings and super in the interim, making it crucial to ensure you have enough money put away for later years. But the good news is that there’s still time to grow your retirement savings.

Boost your super

Contributing more to your super can be a reliable route to bolstering your retirement fund. By making extra contributions through salary sacrifice, you can grow your super and at the same time reduce the amount of income tax you pay. The government will tax your salary sacrificed contributions, within the allowable concessional contribution cap, at 15 per cent, which may be much lower than your marginal tax rate.

Making non-concessional or after-tax super contributions is another option. Generally, you can contribute up to $110,000 each financial year if your total super balance is less than $1.7 million at 30 June of the last financial year. To understand how these contributions work, it’s wise to get professional advice.

Beef up your savings

Your personal savings outside of super can supplement your super payments in retirement. But are they growing enough now to provide you with some level of income when you retire?

To build up your savings, you may have to invest part of it and make sure it’s growing faster than the rate of inflation over the long term. You should seek professional advice to see what investments are appropriate for you.

Know your entitlements

Besides the Age Pension, you may be eligible for other government benefits and concessions. For example, you may be eligible for a concession card such as the Pensioner Concession Card (if you are receiving the Age Pension), Commonwealth Seniors Health Card or the state-based Seniors Card. Concession cards like these may entitle you to discounts on some commercial and public services. Concessions that allow you to buy prescription medicine at a discount may also be available.

But keep in mind that these benefits have strict eligibility rules. There’s also no guarantee that these entitlements will still be available by the time you retire. So, take charge of your retirement.

Working with your financial adviser, you can develop a strategy that helps ensure you’ll be well provided for regardless of changes to pension policies.


General Advice Warning

The information contained on this website is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial adviser.

Mark O’Connell, Robin Bell and Allan Hall Financial Planning Pty Ltd are Authorised Representatives of Consultum Financial Advisers Pty Ltd ABN 65 006 373 995 AFSL 230323.

Helping your children financially

Helping your children, financially speaking

As a parent you probably have great expectations for your children

They will have everything you had and more! You will consider their every need and make the most of every opportunity to help them get ahead, right?

Whilst every parent wants their child to be healthy, happy and financially secure, figuring out how to get them there is another thing.

Working with a financial adviser can help you understand options available to financially help your children, and teach them how to take control of their financial future once it is time for you to step out of the equation, and them to step up. Introducing these discussions as a family from early on means you can get help for your children that will serve them well into their future.


It’s never too early to start a good savings system. If your child gets pocket money for helping out around the family home, birthday money and other small contributions, you can help them divert some of this into savings and some into spending.


Once your child begins work they’ll be asked what super fund they want their employer to make compulsory contributions to. Starting working life with a super fund that charges low fees and delivers high returns will make a HUGE difference over their working lifetime. If your child understands what superannuation is and the power of it to build a nest egg, they are going to be much better off in the long run.


Many parents want to contribute to a savings or investment fund for their child, if they can afford to do so. A financial adviser can help you to understand the fees, costs and returns of a number of different investment options including investment bonds, trust funds and savings accounts.

Don’t let uncertainty hold you back — talk with us

If you are unsure about the true value of advice but you want to explore whether it might help you reach – or exceed – your financial goals, book a conversation with a Financial Advisor about getting a plan in place.

We have the capacity to take on new clients and welcome the opportunity to meet with you.


General Advice Warning

The information contained on this website is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial advisor.

Mark O’Connell, Robin Bell and Allan Hall Financial Planning Pty Ltd are Authorised Representatives of Consultum Financial Advisers Pty Ltd ABN 65 006 373 995 AFSL 230323.