Established by amendments to the Electricity Supply Act 1995 in 2009, the mandatory Energy Savings Scheme (ESS) is a complement to GGAS and provides a financial incentive for retail electricity suppliers and other entities licensed to buy or directly supply electricity in NSW to reduce their electricity consumption and increase their energy efficiency. These scheme participants are required to meet individual annual energy savings targets based on the value of their electricity purchases. They do so by acquiring and surrendering energy savings certificates. Scheme participants face financial penalties for falling short of their targets.

As the government-appointed Scheme Regulator, IPART oversees scheme participants’ annual target calculations, reviews the Annual Energy Savings Statements they submit, and monitors their performance and compliance with ESS benchmarks. We conduct or order audits as necessary, determine and impose penalties for any target shortfalls, and report annually to the Minister for Resources and Energy on scheme participants’ compliance with ESS obligations.

Eligible persons may apply to become accredited as energy savings certificate providers. Once accredited, they can create energy savings certificates for energy savings arising from certain recognised energy savings activities. In our role as ESS Scheme Administrator, IPART determines applications for accreditation and imposes conditions on accreditation. We monitor energy savings certificate provider performance and compliance with the Electricity Supply Act 1995, regulations, ESS rules and conditions of accreditation, and we report annually to the Minister for Resources and Energy. IPART is responsible for recording the registration, transfer and surrender of certificates by energy savings certificate providers and scheme participants in an online registry.