Expansion of Energy Efficiency Opportunities to electricity and gas transmission and distribution network businesses
In its July 2011 Securing a Clean Energy Future package, the Australian Government announced it would extend the Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) Program to include electricity and natural gas transmission and distribution network businesses.
Under the expansion, network businesses that use more than 0.5 PJ of energy in a financial year would be required to register for the EEO program. Energy use is intended to include both own use and a network's energy losses.
In January and February 2012 the Department met with a range of stakeholders to help inform a paper on options for expanding the EEO program to transmission and distribution businesses. The options paper was released on 22 February 2012 and submissions closed on 13 March 2012. Stakeholder forums were held in Sydney and Perth during this time. Fifteen submissions were received.
EEO Networks Expansion Stakeholder Submissions
Revised implementation timeframe and further consultation with industry
The Minister for Resources and Energy, the Hon. Martin Ferguson AM MP, has announced revised timing for the expansion of the EEO program to network businesses to 1 July 2013 when their current exemption expires. The Minister's media release is available here.
The revised timing is in response to industry feedback on the need for more time to consider the expansion. This will enable further consultation and trials with industry to better inform how the program should be applied and to gather additional data for the Regulation Impact Statement.
The revised implementation process will include:
- Basic EEO regulation amendments in place by July 2012 to enable participation of network businesses (and new developments and expansion projects) from 1 July 2013
- Consultation with industry on draft regulations during 2012-13
- Trials with industry during 2012-13 to develop and assess application of the assessment and reporting framework, gather data to further inform the Regulation Impact Statement and develop guidance material.
- Release of the Regulation Impact Statement and the main body of regulation amendments for stakeholder comment following completion of trials and industry consultation
- Network businesses commence participation from 1 July 2013
The Department will soon release details on timing, industry consultation, proposed scope for the trials, and how expressions of interest to participate in trials will be sought from industry. Details will be communicated through industry associations, the Department's stakeholder distribution list and this webpage.
Initial EEO regulation amendments
The EEO Amendment Regulation 2012 has been made by the Federal Executive Council. These basic EEO regulation amendments enable participation of network businesses from July 2013. The amendments (regulations 1.3(4) and 1.5(2)(a)) clarify that network losses are to be considered in a network business's assessment of its energy use.
The regulation amendments also have changes regarding EEO alignment to recent changes to the Clean Energy Act, the expansion to new developments and expansion projects, and participation of certain types of electricity generators.
Trials with Network Businesses
Trials are being conducted with electricity and gas transmission and distribution businesses to determine: network losses for each sector; how network businesses consider and value energy losses in their design and operation decisions; opportunities to cost effectively reduce energy use in each sector; and barriers to the implementation of opportunities.
The trials have two parts. The first is a survey of each network business on losses in their network, and the second is the development of case studies with some businesses in each of the four sectors. Data from the trials will inform the Regulation Impact Statement (RIS).
The RIS and a report on the trial’s outcomes are expected to be released in April 2013. The trials are being conducted in consultation with a working group comprising representatives from AEMO, the Australian Pipeline Industry Association, the Energy Networks Association, and Grid Australia, and stakeholders will be advised of the publication of the RIS and trials report through these organisations and the EEO newsletter.
The next steps of the networks expansion will be advised once the RIS has been released.
For more information
For further information on the process to expand the EEO program to electricity and gas transmission and distribution networks, please contact:
Project Manager – EEO Networks Expansion
02 6276 1063Geoff.firstname.lastname@example.org