SA energy savings scheme exceeds 2016 target

Thursday, 13 July, 2017

The SA Retailer Energy Efficiency Scheme (REES) exceeded its 2016 target by 40%, according to the REES Annual Report. 2016 was the second year that businesses could access the scheme, which provides incentives to save energy by establishing energy efficiency and audit targets to be met by electricity and gas retailers.

According to the report, published by the Essential Services Commission of South Australia, 3315 businesses — most of which are likely to be small to medium-sized — benefited from ‘commercial’ activities being made available. 72% of all REES energy savings were from commercial activities: 69% from commercial lighting and 3% from commercial showerheads.

“The significant volume of commercial lighting uptake is largely attributable to the successful rollout of this activity in other schemes in NSW and Victoria which have driven technology transformation,” said Hamish McGovern, president of the Energy Efficiency Certificate Creators Association (EECCA).

“This has driven down costs and improved energy efficiency of products such as LED lighting (which can reduce electricity consumption by as much as 8%), making the activity very attractive to implement. Businesses in SA have clearly jumped at the opportunity as they struggle with skyrocketing energy bills.”

Other report highlights include:

  • All energy audit and energy efficiency targets were met in 2016. Many obliged retailers have significant energy credits to carry over to subsequent REES years.
  • A total of 1,851,990 GJ of energy savings were delivered, which was 66% higher than that delivered in 2015. When prior-year credits are included, the Energy Efficiency Target was exceeded by 40%. Many obliged retailers have significant credit balances to carry over towards 2017 targets.
  • A total of 5797 energy audits were undertaken and obliged retailers applied an additional 5215 energy audit credits (earned in prior years) to exceed the target by 94%.

On a per capita basis, the SA scheme is currently less than half the size of the largest scheme in Victoria. An enlarged scheme would help shoulder more of the burden of SA’s continuing energy crisis, according to the EECCA, driving down consumption by delivering even more significant energy savings.

“The EECCA will continue to advocate for an increase to the REES target for 2018-2020, which will be announced late in 2017,” said McGovern. “A doubling of the target would significantly contribute to SA’s bold move on energy policy.

“We are encouraging expansion of activities in line with NSW and Victoria, extension beyond 2020, and adoption of a market-based model to increase competition and drive more rapid uptake of energy savings installations and upgrades.”

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