Certificate schemes for energy efficiency

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.



Related resources

Financing your project

Undertaking energy efficient upgrades or installing renewable energy makes good business sense and helps offset rising electricity and gas prices. Choosing the right finance for projects can sometimes be challenging. This guide will help you understand the different financial options available as well as step-by-step guidance in selecting the best finance for your business.

Energy efficiency certification scheme

This certification scheme offered by the Energy Efficiency Council certifies professionals that can lead comprehensive energy retrofits of commercial buildings. Certification helps building owners and managers find professionals they can trust and provides a benchmark for energy efficiency professionals.

Claiming Energy Savings Certificates ('Eskis')'

NSW businesses can improve the rate of return on investment for projects by claiming Energy Savings Certificates (aka 'Eskis') which are redeemable for cash based using NABERS ratings as evidence of savings.

Data centre energy audit subsidies

The NSW Energy Saver program is offering eligible businesses a 50% subsidy for Data Centre Energy audits when combined with a NABERS Data Centre rating to help businesses identify opportunities for improvement and cost savings.

Energy Smart Finance

This equipment leasing program by Low Carbon Australian allows businesses to invest energy efficient technology to future-proof against rising energy costs while reducing carbon emissions. It is operated through accredited vendors.

Sustainable Melbourne Fund

A fund for improving Melbourne buildings established by Melbourne City Council. The Fund provides up to 100% loan finance for building retrofit projects or for innovative technologies that deliver wider environmental benefits.

Grants and Assistance Finder

Commonwealth and State/Territory government grant programs available to support the investigation and implementation of energy efficiency projects. Be sure to check eligibility requirements and funding guideslines, which can differ significantly across programs and jurisdictions.

NSW Energy Saver Program

The Energy Saver program, by NSW Office of Environment and Heritage provides a single point of energy efficiency support for NSW businesses, helping organisations reduce energy consumption and costs. There are subsidies available for action plans and implementation.

CitySwitch NABERS Energy Grant program

Join CitySwitch and get financial assistance to help combat rising energy bills by assessing and managing your office energy use. Funding is offer for a limited time to assist businesses most capital cities with documenting their energy baseline.

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