Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 5 August 2021) . . Page.. 2493 ..
Mr Rattenbury: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:
(1) The EEIS requires electricity retailers to make energy savings in households and small-to-medium businesses. The scheme aims to encourage the efficient use of energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy use, reduce energy costs and assist priority households to reduce energy use and associated costs. Electricity retailers achieve this by either undertaking eligible activities that deliver energy efficient appliance upgrades, or by making a financial contribution to the scheme.
Research and consultation with industry, relevant local and interstate government agencies, electricity retailers, consumer advocacy groups and community not-for-profit organisations have gone into the development of EEIS approved activities, and the types and minimum energy performance standards of associated products.
Electricity retailers may select approved products (or appliances) from the EEIS Register of Products. This Register draws on product registers developed and maintained under the Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) program, NSW Energy Savings Scheme (ESS), and the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards Act 2012 (Cth) (GEMS) to ensure they comply with required minimum performance standards and testing criteria. If a product is suspended by GEMS, the VEU or ESS schemes then that product is no longer eligible to be used in the EEIS. This ‘harmonisation’ approach is considered a best practice approach to ensuring the best product selection options for electricity retailers obligated under the scheme.
Electricity retailers do not receive ACT Government funding to deliver EEIS energy savings products or activities. The scheme sets the obligation on the retailers to make energy savings, via targets based on a percentage of their electricity sales. The scheme legislates what energy saving activities retailers may undertake and the conditions under which they must conduct activities and report to the Government. The terms and conditions of the product offers made to consumers are not prescribed by the scheme. Rebates and discounts that are offered to consumers are entirely a business decision of the electricity retailer.
(2) Industry has been consulted during phases of activity development or review throughout the life of the scheme. A review of the EEIS scheme was conducted in 2018, during which industry, trades and advocacy groups were consulted on scheme design and efficacy. Subsequent to the review, in 2019, a range of further consultations were conducted specifically on proposals for a 10-year extension, which also sought views on whether and how to expand the energy savings activities delivered under the EEIS and key priorities for new eligible activities. These consultations were delivered through a stakeholder forum, online surveys, and public submissions. Reports on the results of consultations on a range of matters pertaining to the operation of the scheme including activity development, are available online at: https://www.environment.act.gov.au/energy/smarter-use-of-energy/energy-efficiency-improvement-scheme/publications.
(3) Consultation with scheme participants formed part of the 2018 review. This included direct consultation through interviews, focus groups and workshops with stakeholders to discuss the operation of the EEIS, including available activities. The review also considered post-implementation surveys administered to both households and businesses during the period 2013-2018. Annual customer satisfaction surveys continue to be delivered as part of the compliance and auditing functions of the EEIS.