The Energy Savings Scheme (ESS) External link is a NSW-based, mandatory scheme for electricity retailers and other participants under the Electricity Supply Act 1995 and the Electricity Supply (General) Regulation 2014.

The ESS reduces energy consumption in NSW by creating financial incentives to invest in energy savings. The Energy Savings Scheme Rule sets out how Energy Savings Certificates are created.

Under the Energy Savings Scheme, households and businesses can receive financial incentives to save energy and reduce energy bills by installing, improving or replacing energy savings equipment.

Have your say – ESS Rule change

The Department is preparing to amend the ESS Rule to enable commencement of the recent reforms to the ESS passed by Parliament, to respond to recent stakeholder feedback and to update saving factors and activity schedules for new technologies and experiment standards.

To have your say please refer to the draft proposed changes to the ESS Rule and to the accompanying consultation paper.

Attend a public forum

A public consultation forum will be held on 12 November 2015. You can register online to attend the forum.

Submit your comments

The NSW Government is seeking stakeholder comments on the draft changes.

To have your say, email your comments to by 5pm, Friday 4 December 2015. 


About the ESS

The Energy Saving Scheme External link was established in 2009 under the Electricity Supply Act 1995. The Act provides that the primary objective of the ESS is to create a financial incentive to reduce the consumption of energy by encouraging energy saving activities. The ESS works by placing an obligation on NSW energy retailers and other liable parties to purchase energy savings in the form of Energy Savings Certificates each year.

The ESS has been highly successful to date. Between mid-2009 and October 2015, the ESS has supported projects that will deliver around 12,000 gigawatt hours of energy savings over their lifetimes. These savings are estimated to deliver around $1.7 billion in energy bill savings for NSW households and businesses over the next decade or more.

The ESS is legislated to continue until 2025.

ESS Review

In 2014 and 2015 the NSW Government consulted on a statutory review of the ESS, and on proposed reforms to the ESS. Read the final Energy Savings Scheme Statutory Review PDF (700 KB PDF) report.

On 13 October 2015 the Minister for the Environment and the Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy announced the NSW Government's final position on the reforms to the ESS. The Government's Review of the ESS position paper PDF (1.09 MB PDF) summarises stakeholder feedback and the NSW Government's final position.

On 13 October 2015 the Minister for the Environment introduced the Electricity Supply Amendment (Energy Savings Scheme) Bill 2015 into the Parliament of NSW on behalf of the NSW Government.

Current ESS Rule

The current Energy Savings Scheme Rule became effective on 19 June 2015. Read more about the major changes made to the rule in 2013 and 2014.

ESS exemptions 2015

The Energy Savings Scheme is established by Part 9 of the NSW Electricity Supply Act 1995 External link. Sections 119-122 of the Act allow the Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy to publish an Order in the NSW Government Gazette granting full or partial exemption from ESS liabilities in respect of any electricity load used by persons in connection with emissions intensive and trade exposed (EITE) activities.

The Minister must be satisfied that the electricity load is both EITE and that the exemption is otherwise generally consistent with the objects of Part 9 of the Act.

ESS exemptions are closely aligned with the approach to EITE industries and activities adopted by the Commonwealth Government's Clean Energy Regulator (CER).

Given the discontinuation of the Jobs and Competitiveness Program by the Commonwealth, the activities included in the 2015 Order are based on the CER's list of approved EITE activities for the Renewable Energy Target. There is close alignment between the 2015 ESS Exemptions Order and the explanatory ESS Exemptions Policy Framework.