FAQs for households and small businesses
What type of energy saving activities are available to households?

The list of energy savings activities is available on our Energy efficiency upgrades page.

Are energy efficiency upgrades delivered by the NSW Government?

The Energy Savings Scheme (ESS) and Peak Demand Reduction Scheme (PDRS) are NSW Government initiatives. The upgrades delivered under the ESS and PDRS are provided by businesses referred to as Accredited Certificate Providers (ACPs). ACPs are private businesses and the services and products they offer will differ. IPART is the administrator and regulator of the schemes. If you have a query about ACPs or the governance of the schemes, please contact us.

What is the role of the NSW Government?

The role of the NSW Government is to set energy efficiency and peak demand reduction targets and provide the governance framework for the program through the legislation. IPART’s role, as administrator and regulator of the schemes, is to ensure that the requirements of the Energy Savings Scheme and Peak Demand Reduction Scheme are met.

Who can offer residential energy efficiency activities?

Only Accredited Certificate Providers (ACPs) can provide incentives for energy efficiency activities to residential and business customers as part of the schemes. However, these are not the only providers of these services and products. A list of ACPs who are accredited to provide services and products to households and businesses is available here.

An ACP can offer energy efficiency activities to households themselves or contract the work to third party installers, such as electricians or air conditioning technicians. Please contact an ACP for more information on the specific products and services they deliver.

ACPs and their representatives are not employees or representatives of the NSW Government.


How do I find a provider?

You can find an Accredited Certificate Provider (ACP) by searching for companies that provide residential activities on our Who can help with energy upgrades page. 

The list includes details for the ACPs’ websites where you can find more information on what products or services they offer.

If you are having trouble finding an ACP you can contact us.

How much will it cost?

You will have to pay at least $30 (excluding GST) towards the cost of an energy efficiency upgrade under the Energy Savings Scheme in your home. For pool pump, water heater and air conditioner upgrades you will need to pay at least $200 (excluding GST) per item from 19 June 2024. Your ACP or their installer can confirm what minimum payment you need to pay.

The minimum payment includes the cost of the products, installation, site assessment and other associated works carried out by the Accredited Certificate Provider (ACP) or its representatives. This payment must be made before the upgrade is completed and cannot be reimbursed to you.

Additional costs may be charged by the ACP depending on the type and size of the upgrade. You should read the ‘fine print’ to ensure you are aware of all costs payable by you.

Do the schemes give rebates to households?

No, the Energy Savings Scheme (ESS) and Peak Demand Reduction Scheme are not rebate schemes. Accredited Certificate Providers (ACPs) may state that they provide a rebate or discount, but this is a rebate from the ACP, not from the NSW Government.

They can offer you an incentive in exchange for your agreement to nominate them as the ‘original energy saver’ or ‘original capacity holder’ for the project. This enables them to create certificates, which they can then sell.

If someone offers me an energy efficiency upgrade, does that mean they work for the NSW Government?

No, Accredited Certificate Providers (ACPs) are privately owned or publicly listed businesses. They do not work for the NSW Government, but they must be accredited by IPART to create Energy Savings Certificates or Peak Reduction Certificates.

ACPs may use door knockers or telemarketers to promote their services. You do not have to let anyone into your house if you do not want to. You should always ask to see the identification of anyone that contacts you about performing work in your home. Identification information should include:

  • the person’s name
  • the name of the accredited business they work with
  • the business address.
ACPs must adhere to minimum standards of conduct

Accredited Certificate Providers (ACPs) must ensure that they, and their representatives, abide by minimum standards of conduct and relevant legislation, including that they:

  • properly identify themselves as representatives of the ACP (not of the scheme, or of IPART, or the NSW Government)
  • explain the Energy Savings Scheme or Peak Demand Reduction Scheme to you, including providing fact sheets, and explaining any mandatory requirements that must be met
  • properly inform you about the equipment that is to be installed
  • provide appropriate customer service, and after sales assistance.

If you are concerned that someone who has contacted you is not an ACP, you can refer to the List of ACPs on TESSA or our Who can help with energy upgrades page to check if a business is accredited. Alternatively, you can contact us.

What do I do if a door-knocker insists that I take part in an upgrade?

You do not need to allow anyone into your home and you do not need to agree to any offers that an Accredited Certificate Provider or their representative make under the schemes.

Contacting consumers via door-knocking is not permitted on:

  • weekdays – before 9am or after 6pm
  • Saturday – before 9am or after 5pm
  • Sunday or a public holiday.

However, a supplier or agent may visit a consumer at any time if the appointment has been made with the consumer’s consent.

Other things to note are that door-to-door salespeople need to:

  • give a 10-day cooling-off period
  • disclose their purpose and identity
  • cease to negotiate on request and inform consumers of their termination rights.

If you have experienced an aggressive door-knocker, there are a number of options you can pursue to make a complaint. First, you can contact the business directly and advise them about the behaviour you have experienced. If you are still unsatisfied, contact NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20 or see www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

Is it compulsory to upgrade your home with energy efficient products?

No, your participation is voluntary. You do not have to accept any offers made by Accredited Certificate Providers or their representatives.

Like any other type of consumer decision making, you should shop around to ensure that you are receiving the right type of product or upgrade at a competitive price. An energy efficient upgrade can also be performed by businesses that do not participate in the schemes. 

Why do I have to ‘nominate the Accredited Certificate Provider’?

As the householder and purchaser, you benefit from energy savings or peak reduction from the upgrade. This makes you the ‘original energy saver’ under the Energy Savings Scheme or ‘original capacity holder’ under the Peak Demand Reduction Scheme. You need to nominate the Accredited Certificate Provider (ACP) as the ‘energy saver’ or ‘capacity holder’ so the ACP can create certificates from your project (in return for any incentives they have offered you). Nomination as the energy saver and capacity holder can be made for the same upgrade and must be made before the job starts.

Why can't I keep my old equipment?

Removed or replaced equipment cannot be reused, resold or refurbished and must be appropriately disposed of by Accredited Certificate Providers. This is to ensure that the old energy inefficient equipment is not used somewhere else after it is removed or replaced with new equipment.

How do I make a complaint?

If you are not happy with the quality of work, or require more information, speak to your ACP or installer first. 

If you are unable to resolve the problem, NSW Fair Trading or Building Commission NSW may be able to assist. NSW Fair Trading investigates unfair practices and ensures products sold in NSW meet its regulations and safety standards. The NSW Fair Trading website has information about consumer rights, tips for resolving consumer disputes, and how you can make a complaint.

Building Commission NSW licenses tradespeople such as electricians and plumbers and is responsible for the regulation of laws that apply to them. It may be able to assist if you have concerns about the work of licensed tradespeople or unlicensed work.

If you are concerned the ACP or its representative has not complied with ESS or PDRS requirements or they’re not responding, you can contact us directly.

How long will residential energy efficiency activities be in operation?

The Energy Savings Scheme and Peak Demand Reduction Scheme end in 2050. It is the decision of individual Accredited Certificate Providers whether they continue their programs while the scheme is in operation.

Why did an Auditor contact me?

The NSW Government uses third party auditors to check that Accredited Certificate Providers have conducted energy efficiency upgrades in accordance with the applicable legislation and their conditions of accreditation. An auditor or a representative of the Energy Sustainability Schemes (ESS) team may telephone you and ask you questions about your upgrade.

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