Although several states run Energy Efficiency Programs throughout Australia, the diagram below illustrates the key common elements of these programs.
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Being the first business accredited to participate in Commercial Lighting upgrade activities in the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) and being the largest participant in the NSW Energy Saving Scheme (ESS) means that we understand how to work with businesses to maximize your participation in both these and other energy efficiency initiatives.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the details of the respective State based programs?
The Victorian program is called the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET). Visit the official program page at https://www.veet.vic.gov.au/
The New South Wales program is called the Energy Savings Scheme (ESS). Visit the official program page at http://www.ess.nsw.gov.au
The South Australian program is called the Retailer Energy Efficiency Scheme (REES). Visit the official program page at https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/water-energy-and-environment/energy/rebates-concessions-and-incentives/retailer-energy-efficiency-scheme-rees
The Australian Capital Territory program is called the Energy Efficiency Improvement Scheme (EEIS). Visit the official program page at http://www.environment.act.gov.au/energy/energy_efficiency
In short, we all do! The energy retailers are mandated by law to participate in the schemes in the relevant states, and they are allowed to pass the cost onto their residential and domestic consumers, normally reflected in the ‘Network charges’ component of your bill. It is this pool of money that the retailers utilise to pay for the amount of certificates they are required to buy from the Accredited Persons each year. In short, businesses and residents choosing not to participate in the scheme are effectively subsidising the participation of others.
Within each scheme there are a series of complex calculations that determine how rebates and discounts are applied. These calculations vary depending on the energy efficiency activity being completed, but aspects such as annual hours of operation, geographic location and the cost of equipment are all considered. Essentially, the greater the improvement in energy efficiency, the higher a discount is likely to be.
Certificates act as the mechanism of imposing a fee on the energy retailers and passing on the discount to the consumer. Each certificate represents the abatement of one tonne of Co2 from the atmosphere. There is no set price for these certificates, meaning this marketplace is subject to normal supply and demand pressures. To put it in perspective, the updating of a single halogen lamp with an LED retro fit can abate close to a tonne of Co2 from the atmosphere over a ten-year period.
The estimated $350m pool was provided by the Energy Efficiency Certificate Creators Association, a body representing the accredited persons. This was based upon 12.4 million certificates being generated.
Equipment Energy Efficiency reports that the commercial and residential markets are estimated at $3.2b.
Anacacia Capital quoted that ‘the lighting market in Australia is about $1.4b and LED lighting as an energy saving proposition is opening up a new retro market that is tipped to drive an extra $15b of revenue over the next 7 years.’
A feature of all of the state based programs is the extensive and ongoing compliance regimes to ensure that all participants within the scheme are operating safely and ethically. An AP must undergo a rigorous application process which checks for compliance in areas including safety, product quality, business practices and industry experience.
Did you know that by partnering with Ozwide Group for Energy Efficiency Programs, your organization can access up to a 70% reduction in lighting energy bills with a payback period as short as 30 days?
Other than commercial lighting, domestic lighting and water heating are the other most prominent activities. It has been reported that residential insulation will also be eligible in the foreseeable future, and it is likely that more activities will be included over time.
It has been estimated that the price of LED lighting product costs has reduced by over 70 per cent in the last five years. In combination with the rebates available, this has ensured that the payback period for LED lighting upgrades has been brought back to less than two years in most instances.
From 1 January 2016, new rules were introduced that increased the discount available for commercial premises operating under what is deemed ‘extended hours’. This applies to specifically to industries including hospitality, car parks and health care.
There is always a perceived risk to government-supported programs. Both the NSW and Victorian programs have been assured until at least 2020. It is also important to note that the support comes from both sides of the political landscape. Because the program is self-funded, to the extent that energy retailers are imposed with a fee, there is less risk of political intervention than with programs which require direct government funding. In the wake of global climate talks in Paris at the start of 2016, there is also a continued global push for the implementation of greater environmental policies and programs, which should ensure that these schemes not only continue but also grow in scope.