NSW environment minister Rob Stokes

2 June 2014 — Households and businesses will have greater access to energy efficiency savings following changes to the NSW Government’s Energy Savings Scheme announced on Friday.

As part of the changes, large electrical goods retailers will now be able to provide discounts on energy efficient products, such as TVs and whitegoods, and receive credits through the ESS.

Households will also have access to more energy savings through “home energy efficiency retrofits”, with accredited certificate providers able to create energy savings certificates from approved activities including installing double glazed windows, installing efficient airconditioners, installing insulation (if the risks associated with insulation can be addressed), lighting upgrades, draught-stoppers, low-flow shower heads and window films. Small businesses in a class 6 building space less than 200 square metres will be eligible for retrofit activity too.

Other organisations can access savings through the High Efficiency Appliances for Business method, which provides a new way for retail and other commercial businesses to participate in the ESS from 1 July 2014 through the installation or retrofitting of large refrigeration and cooling systems. including:

  • installing a new efficient refrigerated display cabinet
  • installing a new efficient liquid chilling package
  • installing a new efficient close control airconditioner
  • installing a new efficient airconditioner
  • retrofitting an existing display cabinet, cool room or freezer with a high efficiency brushless DC motor

But installing T5 fluorescent light adaptor kits and retrofitting LED tubes will no longer be valid activities under the scheme, and there will be improved standards for commercial lighting products.

“Today’s announcement reinforces the NSW Government’s commitment to the ESS as an important scheme to help households and businesses save 16,000 [gigawatt-hours] each year by 2020,” Environment Minister Rob Stokes said.

“Our vision is for a strong and resilient economy with increased productivity but reduced environmental impacts.”

Mr Stokes said professional qualified auditors would be established to help businesses and families make more energy savings and reduce their costs.

“Increasing energy productivity in NSW will help families and businesses save on their
bills, create jobs, reduce waste and improve our energy and resource security,” he said.

The Energy Efficiency Council supported the move, saying the NSW Government had become “Australia’s centre of energy policy excellence”.

“While other states have been making slap-dash policy decisions on the run, the NSW Government has be steadily rolling out policies to fix the electricity system and reduce energy bills,” EEC chief executive Rob Murray-Leach said.

“The changes that the NSW Government announced today will mean that shops can offer consumers discounts for energy efficient appliances, and make it easier for experts to help homes and businesses save energy. Today’s announcement is a win for businesses, a win for jobs and, most importantly, a win for households.”

The move comes just weeks after the Victorian government decided to cut its energy saving program, drawing the ire of the energy efficiency industry.

The NSW Government has also distanced itself from its conservative peers by advocating for the Renewable Energy Target in its submission to the RET review.