Ecovantage support manager for South Australia, John Tilden said the South Australian government had delivered on its commitment to continue the Residential Energy Efficiency Scheme, and to extend the scheme to small and medium enterprises in the commercial sector.

However, there was an issue with the immediate timeframe due to the lack of new contracts for REES services on behalf of energy retailers between now and the end of 2014.

Mr Tilden said the government was currently considering which model it will use for the new tradeable certificates for the next phase of REES, which will run from January 2015 until 2020.

“[SA Minister for Energy] Tom Koutsantonis has delivered on everything he promised. He does care about energy efficiency in households and businesses.”

“It’s looking very positive if we can survive up until the start of January 2015. The problem is we now face a lull of six months during which time there is no REES work for our assessors, and the commercial scheme is not due to commence until January 2015,” Mr Tilden said.

“We are losing trained people who have their certificate IV in sustainability and HSA, so there is an issue with whether we will have the professional, experienced people to do the assessments when the new certificates and contracts are issued. Can people hang on for the six months or more before it starts up again?”

Tilden said the staffing levels across SA energy efficiency consultancies have “dropped dramatically” recently, due to the pause in REES assessments, and a lack of drivers such as mandatory NABERS disclosure in the commercial sector.