The Energy Savings Scheme

Electrician installing new fuse box

What is the ESS?

The NSW Energy Savings Scheme (ESS) is part of the Energy Security Safeguard.

The ESS provides financial incentives for households and businesses to become energy efficient by cutting electricity and gas use. It does this by making it cheaper for you to invest in an upgrade project to reduce your energy use.

What is the Energy Security Safeguard?

The Energy Security Safeguard aims to improve the affordability, reliability and sustainability of our energy. The Safeguard provides cost-effective energy savings incentives and peak demand reduction initiatives.  

The Safeguard includes two separate schemes: 

  • the Energy Savings Scheme (ESS) running until 2050, which supports energy saving activities.
  • the new Peak Demand Reduction Scheme (PDRS) which will commence in late 2022. The PDRS will support activities that reduce the demand for energy at peak times.     

Households and businesses that implement energy saving projects and reduce peak demand are expected to save an additional $3.6 billion on their bills between 2022 and 2040.

Is your project eligible for the ESS?

All sorts of equipment and processes may be eligible. They include:

  • lighting
  • heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems
  • motors, fans and pumps
  • compressed air systems and much more.

For more information → please see the list of options on the left-hand side menu (if you are on desktop/ tablet) or at the end of the page (if your are on your mobile).

What next?

Certain government-approved businesses can assist with your energy project. These approved suppliers are known as Accredited Certificate Providers, or ACPs.

Before you begin any modification or upgrade, contact an ACP in your region. They will:

  • explain the process
  • get you the incentive.

To find an ACP → click on a specific project type on the left-hand side menu (if you are on desktop/ tablet) or at the end of the page (if your are on your mobile).

You have the option to:

  • work with your own preferred tradespeople by getting them to contact an approved supplier
  • work with tradespeople proposed by the approved supplier.

You may need to measure your energy use before and after an upgrade. This can be done by submetering or checking your energy bills.

How does it work?

Approved suppliers work out how much energy you will save if you go ahead with the upgrade. They calculate the savings and convert them into Energy Saving Certificates (ESCs), which are sold to energy retailers.  Some of the money from selling ESCs is then returned to you as an upfront discount or a payout at a later stage.

Who are Accredited Certificate Providers (ACPs)?

ACPs are voluntary participants in the ESS, who are accredited to create Energy Saving Certificates (ESCs). Contact an ACP before the start of your project to make sure you get the timing right and don’t miss out.

What are Energy Savings Certificates (ESCs)?

ESCs are the 'currency' of the scheme. They are calculated based on the MWh of energy saved by an eligible energy saving activity. They are then sold to electricity retailers and other liable parties.

Are you planning multiple projects?

Businesses planning several projects may consider becoming approved suppliers themselves. Becoming an approved supplier means you can create and sell ESCs, and get the highest returns. It also means you can offer discounted projects to your clients.

Accreditation comes with obligations. These include record keeping requirements and costs.

For more information on how to become a supplier, visit ‘How to apply for accreditation’ page.

Have your say

The NSW Government collaborates with stakeholders and industry to develop rules for the ESS and for the PDRS and regularly seeks feedback on proposed updates. 

You can get involved and keep abreast of public consultations by checking the 'Have your say' page.  

Page last updated on 16 June 2021