Further to our article in last month’s edition of the Energy Market Update, the NSW Government announced on 13 October 2015 changes to significantly expand the Energy Savings Scheme. The scheme, which has provided an incentive to save electricity, will now also provide an incentive to save gas.
The Energy Savings Scheme (ESS), which commenced operation in NSW on 1 July 2009, is a program that provides an incentive for homes and businesses to purchase and install energy efficient products. Eligible energy efficiency activities generate certificates based on how much gas or electricity they save.
Three key changes to the scheme that could, according to the NSW Government, save households and businesses up to $8.2 billion on their energy bills during the life of the scheme have now been announced.
- The energy savings target will be increased from 5 per cent to 7 per cent in 2016 and progressively to 8.5 per cent by 2019. This is a 70 per cent increase in the target.
- It will be expanded to provide incentives for households and businesses to save gas.
- It will be extended to 2025.
The expansion of the ESS to gas will make gas savings eligible to create energy savings certificates and introduce a certificate conversion factor to value gas savings based on their primary energy equivalence to electricity.