Want a Slice of the Carbon Pie?


Want a Slice of the Carbon Pie?

In May 2015, RDA Orana hosted information sessions throughout the region to raise awareness of the Commonwealth Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF). However, the ERF is not the only opportunity for Orana businesses to participate in carbon abatement and energy efficiency programs.

What carbon abatement programs are currently available?

  • Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF)
  • Renewable Energy Target (RET)
  • NSW Energy Savings Scheme (ESS)

What are their key features?

  • The ERF applies to projects undertaken in accordance with one of the approved ‘methods’ for reducing emissions and/or storing carbon. Carbon credits generated are sold at auction or on the secondary market. The minimum requirement to participate in an auction is 2,000 carbon credit units. To be eligible, projects must be:
    • new (that is, not already underway),
    • in addition to any legal requirements to reduce emissions (eg. licence conditions), and
    • not already be funded under another government program.
  • The RET provides incentives to install equipment that reduces electricity consumption, such as solar hot water systems (small scale) or solar farms (large scale). The purpose is to reduce reliance on electricity generated from coal and increase the use of electricity from renewable sources, resulting in less atmospheric carbon. Some entities, such as electricity retailers, are legally bound to purchase Renewable Energy Certificates created in this way.
    • For small scale installations, the benefit is usually delivered at the time of purchase through a reduced purchase/installation price, with the installer taking the right to the certificates created.
    • For large scale installations, the operator of the facility accrues the certificates and sells them.
  • The ESS is similar to the RET; it provides incentives to reduce the use of conventional electricity by installing energy efficient equipment and/or substituting a renewable energy source. It applies to new facilities and upgrades to existing premises, and accommodates both small and large projects.

Which scheme is best?

  • You must meet the eligibility criteria for whichever scheme you choose. This will help determine which scheme/s is open to you for your proposal.
  • The ERF provides opportunities across a wide range of agricultural, business and industrial sectors, including livestock production, farming, transport, waste management and commercial lighting/air conditioning.
  • The ESS and the RET focus specifically on energy and electricity rather than carbon and emissions. They are therefore more limited in scope, but offer flexibility in terms of scale.

Why would I bother?

  • Participation in these schemes can:
    • Provide an additional source of income
    • Help offset the cost of upgrades or modifications to existing systems or the construction of new premises
    • Significantly reduce your energy costs into the future
    • Give you a marketing edge
    • Improve the productivity and economic viability of your enterprise

How do I find out more?

Return to Blog