The generic name ‘white certificate schemes’ refers to government schemes that create additional financial rewards for energy savings, on top of the reductions in bills.
Once an energy efficiency project is implemented, some form of certificate is issued to represent the savings that have been made, usually equivalent to one tonne of CO2e emissions. The certificates are required by energy retailers or other liable entities to meet legislated efficiency targets. The retailers pay the certificate creator for the certificates they generate based on a variable market rate.
The income generated by certificates can improve the business case for upgrades – reducing payback times and increasing internal rate of return. Certificate creation is highly regulated and eligible projects should establish the correct process and record keeping requirements before commencing implementation. Accredited service providers can project manage your submission and bear compliance risk on your behalf.
The Victorian Energy Saver Incentive (ESI)
The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) scheme is now promoted as the Energy Saver Initiative, it is designed to make energy efficiency improvements more affordable for Victorian businesses. The scheme trades energy efficiency certificates between utilities and service providers, allowing for a reduced or no cost service or product for the end user. Sustainability Victoria provides a number of fact sheets for businesses taking advantage of the incentives, including funding and activities.
The NSW Energy Savings Scheme (ESS)
The Energy Savings Scheme reduces electricity consumption in NSW by creating financial incentives for energy saving activities. Organisations that are undertaking energy savings projects can become accredited certificate providers or engage the services of an accredited service provider.
Australian Government Energy Saving Initiative (ESI)
The Australian Government is investigating the merits of a national Energy Savings Initiative (ESI) which could include national certificate scheme for consumers and businesses to make use of. Reports are posted on their website as the investigations progress.