NESS on plate courtesy CCA, 2 June 2017
A recommendation for a National Energy Savings Scheme (NESS) made by the Climate Change Authority (CCA), in a report released today 2 June 2017 as requested by the Federal Energy and Environment Minister, has been welcomed by the Energy Efficiency Certificate Creators Association (EECCA).
“Customers are in a world of pain with more to come as energy contracts come up for renewal later in 2017. The report provides clear guidance for the Commonwealth to act now. A nationwide scheme will enable all Australians to access incentives and put downward pressure on electricity demand and soaring customer energy bills,” said EECCA board member Mr Ric Brazzale.
“The report highlights the benefit of implementing a national scheme that builds on the successful existing state and territory schemes, as the COAG process may cause considerable delays.
“Energy savings schemes have been proven in NSW, Vic, ACT and SA since 2009. For example, in 2016 the Victorian scheme (VEET) delivered installed energy efficiency activities that provided 513GWh of electricity savings and 128MW of demand reduction over that period alone.
“The schemes also deliver cost-effective greenhouse gas emission reductions. The VEET exceeded its 2016 target by almost 50 per cent at a cost 30 per cent less than expected.
“Existing energy efficiency schemes should continue to be expanded to include more activities, they should be extended to dovetail and transition into a national scheme, and their targets should be increased. We cannot afford to slow down the momentum that is now surging with these schemes which trigger real action.
“We look forward to liaising further with all governments in Australia to getting a NESS up and running as soon possible to deliver on the energy trifecta: security, lower prices and lower emissions, for all Australians,” concluded Mr Brazzale.
Media please contact:
Climate Change Authority Report: Towards Next Generation: delivering affordable secure and lower emission power. 2 June 2017
5.1.1 A National Energy Savings Scheme
A National Energy Savings Scheme (NESS) would create an obligation, possibly on energy retailers, to implement energy efficiency activities. In the special review, the Authority (2016b) recommended that the Commonwealth and states pursue harmonisation of white certificate schemes through the COAG Energy Council.
The Authority is now of the view that the NESS should be implemented as a Commonwealth measure to build on and eventually replace existing state ‘white certificate’ schemes (see CCA 2016b) as the COAG process may cause considerable delays.
A NESS can contribute to all three horns of the electricity trilemma. In its 2013 modelling of a National Energy Savings Initiative, the Commonwealth Government estimated that a policy designed to meet an energy savings target of five percent could result in a net benefit of $1.5 to $5.3 billion over the period 2015 to 2050 (Australian Government 2013).
A NESS provides more direct and immediate reductions in energy bills, through increasing uptake and access to efficient technologies. By putting downwards pressure on overall demand and assisting with lowering of peak demand, it could reduce costs in generation and networks and so reduce electricity prices. A NESS could also reduce demand in peak times, for example by targeting particular activities like air-conditioning upgrades, which could assist if the grid is experiencing security issues.
The Commonwealth Government should also consider allowing retailers or generators with obligations under an EIS or LET to meet their obligations with NESS certificates to further lower compliance costs and reduce electricity prices. (p46)
EECCA Submission: Review of climate change policies discussion paper: 5 May 2017 (Including recommendation for a national energy efficiency scheme)