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Energy Saving Certificate Fact Sheet
The Energy Savings Scheme (ESS) commenced on the 1st July 2009. The aim of the ESS is to provide financial incentives for businesses to implement energy efficiency projects.
Strata Plans (apartment complex common areas) are eligible to participate in the ESS program.
Sites may receive a financial contribution to implement an energy saving project by generating and trading Energy Saving Certificates (ESCs). One ESC equals one tonne of CO2-e GHG emissions saved. In July 2012 a review of several ESC traders indicated a price of $22 to $23 per ESC.
Examples of energy saving and demand reduction measures that may generate ESCs.
- Lighting upgrades.
- Variable speed drives installed on ventilation fans or pumps.
- Power factor correction.
- Hot water system upgrades.
ESCs may only be generated by Accredited Certificate Providers (ACP). ESCs may be created from a wide range of Recognised Energy Saving Activities (RESAs) that increase the efficiency of, or reduce, energy consumption. However, energy saving activities must not reduce productivity and must maintain minimum standards. For example light levels after a lighting upgrade must meet building codes. RESAs include:
- Modifying equipment or its use.
- Replacing equipment.
- Installing new high efficiency equipment, and/or.
- Removing equipment and reducing electricity consumption.
Lighting upgrades are by far the biggest source of ESCs
While many types of projects may potentially generate ESCs the reality is the most ESCs are generated by lighting upgrades. IPART reported that in 2013 2.7 million ESCs were generated and 91% of these were created using the Commercial Lighting Formula (Deemed Energy Savings Method).
Not all energy saving projects may be suitable for ESCs
While ESCs may potentially be generated by a wide variety of projects that reduce energy consumption, the costs to lodge applications to IPART may be prohibitive for small projects. As a general rule of thumb it is generally not cost effective to generate ESCs for a lighting upgrade of < 20 lights.
How much is an ESC worth?
The ESC trading price has fluctuated significantly since 2009, ranging from $14 to $32. In 2010 and 2011 the ESC price was consistently above $28, however saw a significant decrease in 2013. This downwards trend has continued into 2014. In mid 2014 several online brokers indicated a ESC price of only $9.
Example – Car park lighting
Previously retrofitting LED tubes and T5 tubes into T8 fittings was able to generate ESCs. Many sites took advantage of this and retrofit T5 tubes into all non-emergency fittings in car parks. In many cases this was done free, or at a very low cost.
However, from the 1st of June 2014 a change to the rule (Amendment No. 1 Rule 2014) means retrofitting LED tubes or installing T8 to T5 converters into fluorescent tube fittings are no longer valid activities under the Commercial Lighting Energy Savings Formula Method and are no longer eligible to generate Energy Saving Certificates (ESCs).
There are still many options available to reduce the energy usage of fluorescent tube lighting and upgrade car park lighting and generate ESCs to reduce implementation costs. This includes installing motion sensors, replacing fittings with new standard LED fittings, or integrated LED fittings with in-built motion sensors.
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How many ESCs have been created and traded?
The following figured shows the number of ESC’s traded each month.