The NSW Government has recently announced several important changes to the Energy Savings Scheme (ESS).

The scheme has been highly successful to date, and is estimated to deliver around $1.4 billion in savings for households and businesses over the next decade. Ecovantage continues to operate as an Accredited Certificate Provider under the scheme.

“The NSW government has become Australia’s leader in energy policy,” said acting Energy Efficiency Council CEO Luke Menzel, in response to these changes. The government was also awarded “Best Energy Savings Program” at the recent Energy Efficiency Council awards.

There are four key enhancements:

1. Expansion of the ESS to gas

ESS extends to Gas
The scheme will be expanded to cover gas and create a financial incentive for gas efficiency. Gas will be incorporated into the ESS through an increase in ESS targets, and via changes to the ESS Rule to enable gas savings activities to generate energy savings certificates.

This will unlock significant opportunites for NSW households and businesses to reduce their gas bills which would otherwise remain relatively high due to the recent increase in wholesale gas prices.

The changes are expected to take effect from January 2016.

2. Extension of the ESS to 2025

ESS changes 2025_300
When the ESS was originally established, it was legislated to terminate at the end of 2020. The duration will now be extended to 2025.

3. Introduction of a regional network factor

More electricity is lost in transmission and distribution for networks that supply regional customers compared to metropolitan customers. This change aims to create a level playing field for regional customers by changing the ESS Rule to reflect the additional three percent value of saving energy in regional areas.

Amendments to the ESS Rule will occur in 2015.

4. Improvement of administration and effectiveness

The government is developing an evaluation, measurement and verification framework for the ESS.

This includes:

  • improved public reporting on energy saving projects and costs of participation
  • measurement and verification studies to build confidence in energy savings
  • monitoring and assessing the remaining energy efficiency opportunity in NSW
  • economic analysis of the costs and benefits of the scheme.

A regular process to update the ESS Rule will also be introduced.

Want to know more?

Contact us now to find out how the scheme might apply to your project.

Call Caetano in our Sydney office on 02 8090 5623