The NSW Energy Savings Scheme (ESS) provides financial incentives to install, improve or replace energy savings equipment and appliances in NSW households and businesses. The ESS was established in 2009 under the Electricity Supply Act 1995 (the Act).  It is one of the schemes in the NSW Energy Security Safeguard (see the Energy website for more information about the Safeguard).

Financial incentives are in the form of tradeable certificates, called energy savings certificates (ESCs). Generally, householders and businesses who fund energy savings activities transfer the right to create ESCs to Accredited Certificate Providers (ACPs) in return for a discount on the cost of the energy savings activity. The notional megawatt hours attributed to energy savings activities determines the number of ESCs that can be created.

The ESS works by allowing ACPs to create and register ESCs for energy savings that are supported with appropriate evidence. ESCs are then purchased each year by mainly electricity retailers operating in NSW to meet their share of a legislated annual energy savings target. This creates a market for certificates (i.e. demand).

We are responsible for administering the ESS and regulating businesses that participate in the ESS. The NSW Office of Energy and Climate Change (previously the Department of Planning and Environment) is responsible for developing and maintaining the legislation governing the scheme.

Refer to Roles in the Scheme to find out more about IPART’s role in the ESS and who else is involved.