The Energy Savings Scheme (ESS) incentivises upgrades that save energy. These incentives are passed on to households and businesses by Accredited Certificate Providers (ACPs) that create Energy Savings Certificates (ESCs) from the energy savings.

Households and small business benefit from the ESS through:

  • potential discounts or other incentives for eligible activities
  • reduced energy costs
  • a more reliable electricity network.

Households and small business will also be able to access incentives for projects that reduce peak demand for electricity under the Peak Demand Reduction Scheme (PDRS) when it commences on 1 November 2022. For more information on the PDRS and how it works see our How the PDRS works page.

You can find more information about how you can save energy in your household at energysaver.nsw.gov.au.

How to benefit from the ESS

As a householder or small business you do not participate directly in the ESS, but can benefit by working with an ACP who can offer you an incentive to carry out eligible energy efficiency upgrades such as installing more efficient lighting, or replacing an air conditioner or water heater.

Our energy efficiency upgrades for households and small business page provides details of the types of upgrades that are eligible under the ESS. If you are interested in getting an upgrade you should contact an ACP to install the upgrade or organise for one of their representatives to do the work on their behalf. You can find an ACP using the Who can help with energy upgrades page.

Working with an ACP

Your participation in the ESS is voluntary. If you do choose to work with an ACP you should shop around to ensure that you’re receiving the right type of product or upgrade at a competitive price. Any upgrade that is performed under the ESS can also be performed by a business that does not participate in the ESS.

Like any decision to engage a contractor, you should consider what is right for you. Please refer to our Things to consider page for more information.

You will be asked to sign a form to nominate the ACP. By completing this form you assign the energy savings from the upgrade to the ACP. An ACP may offer you an incentive in exchange for nominating them. Without this form, the ACP cannot create certificates from the energy savings.

How much will it cost?

You will have to pay at least $30 (excluding GST) towards the cost of:

  • products
  • installation of the products
  • the site assessment and
  • other associated works carried out at your property.

You may be required to pay more depending on the type and size of the upgrade. The ACP will advise you of any additional charges.

The upgrade should not be completed unless you have made the payment. The payment cannot be reimbursed to you.

What you can expect

ACPs are required to ensure that they and their representatives abide by a minimum standard for conduct when they engage with you, including ensuring that they:

  • identify themselves as representatives of the ACP
  • explain the ESS to you including the nomination form and any mandatory requirements
  • do not misrepresent the services being undertaken
  • provide details of and demonstrate the features of the equipment installed
  • provide customer service and after-sales assistance.

How do I know if I qualify as a small business?

A ‘small business site’ means a site that is entirely occupied by one business and where the business, as a consumer of electricity at that site is either a Small Customer or is a customer of an Exempt Seller and has an annual electricity consumption below the Upper Consumption Threshold for electricity.

Have a query or concern?

If you have any concerns about people offering you services, or believe they have not acted fairly, you may wish to contact NSW Fair Trading.

If you believe an ACP has not met their obligations under the ESS or PDRS, you can contact us directly.

You can also find more information on how you can save energy in your home at energysaver.nsw.gov.au.

Further questions

If you have further questions, see our FAQs for households page.