ERF funding opportunities for commercial and public lighting

Released: 15-Jul-2015

The Commonwealth Government has released the final commercial and public lighting calculation methodology for crediting emissions reductions from projects that improve the energy performance of lighting systems in commercial and industrial buildings, as well as public areas, such as pedestrian, street, and traffic lighting. Activities could involve modifying, installing, removing or replacing lighting equipment to improve the lighting system’s energy efficiency.

The methodology was based largely on the New South Wales Energy Savings Scheme (ESS), which has seen many government and private property owners benefit from funding contributions for commercial and public lighting upgrade projects.

The Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) is the Federal Government’s emissions reduction program through their Direct Action Plan. The ERF involves the government purchasing carbon abatement from a wide range of sources to reduce greenhouse emissions from one of many approved methodologies or “types of projects”.

How large is the ERF?

$660 million of funding was allocated in the first auction, which took place in April 2015.  107 Carbon Abatement Contracts contracts were issued at a volume weighted average price of $13.95 per tonne . The majority of projects were in the sequestration and landfill and waste sectors, with energy efficiency not playing any major role. See ERF project register

In brighter news, there is $1.89 billion remaining in the ERF and there has been progress in the development and confirmation of around a dozen emissions reduction activity calculation methodologies, including Commercial & Public Lighting. A draft was released in April & industry comments and submissions received, prior to the legislation being gazetted in late June. See the full listing of ERF calculation methods.

Can I claim ERF funding in addition to NSW, Victorian or SA state government rebates?

No, there needs to be proof of "additionality" ie that the energy savings have not been funded or transferred into energy savings certificates in other jurisdictions such as the NSW Energy Savings Scheme, the Victorian Energy Saving Incentive scheme or the SA Retailer Energy Efficiency Scheme. 

Project hosts will need to assess the relative merits of participation in the state based schemes or the ERF. For QLD, WA, NT and Tasmanian project hosts, the ERF represents a more compelling opportunity.

Project aggregation opportunities

To date, the minimum project bid size of 2000 tonnes pa of CO2 abatement has been an impediment for many businesses to participate in the ERF auctions. Other barriers to participation include high administration and transaction costs  - measurement & verification of savings (M&V), legal costs and high risk perceptions given that penalties are payable for under-delivery of abatement across lengthy contract periods of up to 10 years.

However, there is an emerging solution offered by third party agents who would bundle or aggregate projects from multiple clients and manage the reporting, financial and delivery risks. Typically these agents would have experience in the State Government energy efficiency trading schemes (ESC, VEET, REES) and would pay project hosts an upfront payment of 7 years of ACCU certificates, less their admin fees and risk premiums.

For further information view Outperfomers Aggregrated ERF Facility 

Return of the Multi-Mode lighting calculation for ERF projects

In a win for enLighten's Chamaeleon customers, the calculation factors for the energy consumption (lamp circuit power) for "multi mode" lights, ie lights that operate on more than one "mode" ie standby or full light output, have been re-established according to area of use. The Chamaeleon light is included under the multi mode ruling, which requires that the light output of the 2nd mode is greater than "0"

In effect, this means that the full energy saving potential of the Chamaeleon light range can be more accurately translated in kwH of energy savings & ultimately Tonnes of C02 emissions reductions. Eg for an emergency model in a commercial office fire stair, 98% operation in standby (8w) mode & 2% operation at full light (32W) can reduce the average LCP to 8.5W.

The second ERF Auction will take place on November 4-5, 2015.

For further information on available project rebates/funding or ERF eligibility please CONTACT US.