The Energy Savings Scheme (ESS) and Peak Demand Reduction Scheme (PDRS) encourage households and businesses to upgrade equipment to save energy or reduce peak demand. The schemes provide incentives to Accredited Certificate Provides (ACPs) to provide you with energy efficient or peak reducing equipment at reduced cost. This equipment then helps make NSW's energy more affordable, reliable, and sustainable.

These lower costs are only available from ACPs and the installers they use. An ACP's ability to create and sell certificates based on the energy savings or peak demand reductions you gain from the new equipment enables them to pass on the reduced costs.

Upgrading your household or business under the scheme helps you because it leads to:

  • lower costs to install an upgrade
  • reduced energy costs
  • a more reliable network.

How to benefit from the schemes

As a householder or small business you do not participate directly in the schemes, but you can benefit by working with an ACP who can offer you lower costs to carry out eligible upgrades.

Our Upgrades for households and small business page provides details of the types of upgrades that are eligible under the schemes. 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.

Finding an ACP who can deliver an energy saving upgrade

IPART accredits businesses to create certificates. We don’t license tradespersons or regulate safety or consumer rights, which are NSW Fair Trading functions.

It is also important to note ACPs choose what services they offer and where to deliver them based on their unique business priorities and strategies. This might change in response to market demands.

For more information about upgrades under the Safeguard, refer to the Energy website. It includes information for households and businesses about available upgrades and the ACPs delivering these by region.

Our HEER fact sheet provides information about the ESS, how to get involved, costs, where to get more information and frequently asked questions.

Working with an ACP

Your participation in the schemes 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 performed under the schemes can also be performed by a business that does not participate in the ESS or PDRS.

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 or peak demand reduction capacity 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 or peak demand reduction capacity.

Minimum payments

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.

From 19 June 2024 this minimum payment increases for water heater and residential air conditioner upgrades to at least $200 (excluding GST) per item. If you are not sure what your minimum payment requirements are, your ACP or their installer can help.

You may be required to pay more than the minimum payment depending on the type and size of the upgrade. The ACP will advise you of the cost of your upgrade.

The minimum payment cannot be reimbursed to you in any form`. This includes gift cards or vouchers, credit notes or goods and services.

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 or PDRS to you including the nomination form and any mandatory requirements
  • give you relevant fact sheets with information about the ESS
  • 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?

Small business sites must meet criteria set out in the scheme rules, including being entirely occupied by one business and consuming less than 100 MWh of electricity or 1000 GJ of gas per year. Ask your ACP or installer if you’re not sure if you qualify.

Have a query or concern?

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 or have concerns about people offering you services, you can contact NSW Fair Trading.

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.

More information

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

HEER fact sheet