Three new draft methodologies for Emissions Reduction Fund projects that focus on energy efficiency improvements have been released for public comment.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt said they will not be part of next week’s initial auction round, but may form a basis for eligible projects for future rounds.

The draft commercial and public lighting method is based on the method used by the NSW Government’s Energy Savings Scheme. It applies to lighting upgrade projects including commercial and industrial buildings, and public lighting such as pedestrian, street and traffic lighting.

Activities could involve modifying, installing, removing or replacing lighting equipment to improve the lighting system’s energy efficiency.

Despite a high level of lobbying from within the energy efficiency sector during consultations on the now-finalised Commercial Buildings methodology that ERF projects should mandate appropriate recycling of mercury-containing lamps, the lighting proposal currently only states the equipment must be “disposed of and not re-used or refurbished”. There is also no proof required as part of the proposed documentation requirements.

This is a watering down compared to ESS, which, like the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target, requires evidential proof of recycling.

The proposed high-efficiency commercial appliances method is also largely based on an ESS method, and will apply to projects that install high-efficiency commercial appliances in commercial premises, with or without replacing existing appliances. It covers items such as refrigerated display cabinets, liquid-chilling packages, and close control airconditioners.

The refrigeration and ventilation fan upgrades method will apply to projects involving upgrading, modifying or replacing motors in fan units in refrigeration or ventilation equipment to improve energy performance.

Submissions on the new methodologies are being taken until 5pm on April 15.

  • Draft methodologies and submission templates are available here