Sources: https://www.energy.nsw.gov.au/government-and-regulation/energy-security-safeguard/energy-savings-scheme#-nsw-energy-savings-scheme-

What is the ESS

The Energy Savings Scheme reduces electricity consumption in NSW by creating financial incentives for organizations to invest in energy
savings projects. Energy savings are achieved by installing, improving or replacing energy savings equipment.

The Energy Savings Scheme is governed by NSW legislation. It places a mandatory obligation on Scheme Participants to obtain and surrender energy
savings certificates, which represent energy savings. The development of the policy framework is the responsibility of the Office of Environment and
Heritage and the Department of Planning and Environment, Division of Energy, Water and Portfolio Strategy.

More information is available at www.energy.nsw.gov.au

About Energy Saving Scheme (ESS)

The NSW Energy Savings Scheme (ESS) provides financial incentives to install energy efficient equipment and appliances in NSW households and businesses.

The ESS was established in 2009 under the NSW Electricity Supply Act 1995 and has been highly successful. Since its inception, the ESS has supported projects that will deliver more than 32,500 gigawatt hours of energy savings and over $6.1 billion in bill savings by 2029.

In September 2021, the NSW Government released a position paper that sets out the Government’s final position on the design of the Energy Security Safeguard, including major reforms to the ESS. See Review and reform of the Energy Savings Scheme for further information.

ESS Scheme Changes

The Energy Savings Scheme is continually evolving to meet the needs of energy consumers in NSW.

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) and the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) are responsible for developing the policy
behind the ESS.

The current Energy Saving Scheme Rule

The Energy Savings Scheme Rule (ESS Rule) details how Energy Savings Certificates are created. 
The current ESS Rule is effective from 1 August 2022. The rule was updated to include changes to the refrigerated cabinet activity.

The key changes include: 

  • separating new and replacement activities 
  • reducing the energy efficiency index (EEI) for baselines
  • the introduction of a minimum $250 co-payment requirement. 

A transitional arrangement has been included for contracts executed on or before 1 August 2022, where the implementation date is before 15 August 2022. 

You can read more about the changes in the refrigerated cabinets position paper.

What is HEER method?


The ESS Rule provides a method for up-front deeming of energy savings from upgrades undertaken at residential and small business sites, including for the replacement of inefficient lighting: the Home Energy Efficiency Retrofits method.

Only the Accredited Certificate Providers (ACPs) are allowed to deliver the Home Energy Efficiency Retrofit (HEER) activities under the ESS to help the NSW households and Small Business save energy by supporting a range of energy efficiency upgrades such as lighting, equipment upgrades, and draught proofing.

ACPs are businesses accredited by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) which undertake specified energy saving activities under the ESS. The ACPs can offer HEER activities by themselves or contract it to other third-party installers such as electricians. ACPs work independently and are not deemed as employees or representatives of the NSW Government.

An ACP must be nominated to be the energy saver by the original saver of the energy for implementing the upgrade and creating Energy Savings Certificates (ESCs). A nomination can only be made once for the same upgrade and it should be made before the completion of the job. All equipment must be installed by the ACP or their representatives to ensure that the installation is carried out safely by the licensed and trained technicians.

The ESS Rule also has specific requirements for the types of lighting that may be installed under this method.  Certain lighting products must be accepted for use by IPART before then can be used in an upgrade.

How much will it cost?

You will have to pay at least $30 (excluding GST) towards the cost of products, installation of the products, the site assessment and other associated works carried out at your property. The ACP or its representatives should not complete the upgrade unless you have made the payment. The payment cannot be reimbursed to you. The ACP or its representatives may charge additional costs depending on the type and size of the upgrade. The ACP will advise you of any additional charges.

How do I get involve?

Your participation is voluntary. If you would like to participate, you will need to work with an ACP to arrange an upgrade at your property. The ACP or its representatives may ask you to enter into a contract for the upgrade works. You should carefully consider any such agreement in the same way you would consider any other contract for work being conducted at your property.

If you choose to participate, you should:

Check the installer’s credentials. They should have clear photo identification and provide detailed information about the proposed upgrade and the ACP they are working with.

Discuss the equipment they propose to install and confirm it will meet your needs. If you are a tenant, you may require the landlord’s permission to install or change equipment.

Understand any commitments you are asked to make regarding the upgrade. For instance, you may be asked to agree to not go back to using the old equipment that was in place.

Complete the necessary paperwork. At a minimum, you will be asked to sign a Nomination Form to nominate the ACP as the energy saver for the upgrade to enable them to create Energy Savings Certificates (ESCs) from the energy savings that will be made.

What is Ipart?

IPART is the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of NSW. IPART is the Scheme Administrator and the Scheme Regulator for the Energy Savings Scheme.

In carrying out these roles, IPART’s responsibilities include:

  1. assessing applications

  2. accrediting applicants to become Accredited Certificate Providers

  3. managing compliance of existing Accredited Certificate Providers and Scheme Participants

  4. amending accreditation conditions

  5. managing the website and Registry

What next?

Where can I get more information?

In the first instance, you should contact the ACP. They will be able to provide more information on the products and services they offer.

The ESS website contains general information about the scheme and some answers to frequently asked questions:


General inquiries about the ESS can also be emailed to ESS@ipart.nsw.gov.au

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Reason 1

  • Did you know that you could save up to 85% on your lighting costs (up to per globe per year) by installing more efficient lighting technology?

Reason 2

  • Recent developments in lighting technology, including LEDs and CFLs, mean that the lighting in your home can be powered more efficiently.

Reason 3

  • Not only will the latest energy-efficient lighting reduce your energy bill but it will also reduce your maintenance costs because new lighting technology lasts longer.

Reason 4

  • The NSW Government is committed to helping households and businesses reduce their bills by offering financial incentives for replacing your old lighting equipment.

Reason 5

  • By participating, you can save money on the upgrade costs, reduce your energy bill and help the environment.
FIND YOUR ELIGIBILITYAll NSW households and businesses that have old lighting technology such as incandescent globes, mercury halide, fluorescent tube light, or halogen down-lights are eligible to participate. Terms and conditions may apply.