All Australians are yet to access the benefits of energy savings schemes

Australia does not have a National Energy Savings Scheme (NESS).

The establishment of energy savings schemes in all jurisdictions across Australia has been recommended by independent national agencies and peak bodies for a number of years.

National initiatives are beginning to recognise the critical need to consider 'energy efficiency first' in policy settings.

Nationally, Australia has the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) including limited energy efficiency methods and the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF), the Safeguard Mechanism and National Energy Performance Strategy (NEPS) initiated in 2023.

Australia continues to sit at the low end of international energy efficiency scorecard rankings.

Since the change of federal government in March 2022, the incoming Labor government has been more supportive of energy efficiency as part of a suite of emerging climate change and energy market transformation policy settings.

For the latest developments, refer to ESIA submissions, ESIA Reports and Papers, ESIA News (media releases and ESIA published articles) and subscribe to the ESIA Bulletin.

Carbon Farming Initiative, Emissions Reduction Fund and Safeguard Mechanism

Scheme name: Carbon Farming Initiative(CFI), Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) and Safeguard Mechanism.

Commenced: ERF came into effect 13 December 2014

Commitment date: Will conclude when funding is complete.

Administrator: Clean Energy Regulator

Regulator: Clean Energy Regulator

Policy framework responsibility: Australian Government, Department of Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water (DCCEEW)

Ministerial responsibility: Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy


Energy efficiency successful projects and participants: Visit CER website ERF auction results)

The ESIA is advocating for an adjustment to the CFI, ERF and Safeguard Mechanism to:

  • complement the current market-based energy savings schemes;
  • make access easier to facilitate greater uptake of energy efficiency projects;
  • ensure that these projects are treated on a level playing field with other project types as there has been little support to date;
  • improve and expand methodologies to make them more relevant for energy efficiency upgrades.

Some ESIA Members are accredited to deliver CFI energy efficiency methods.

Other relevant agreements, policy measures and programs

Legislated energy efficiency mechanisms and measurable targets are limited primarily to the energy savings schemes established by state and governments in Victoria (Vic), New South Wales (NSW), South Australia (SA) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Other jurisdictions do have some energy efficiency initiatives: Queensland (Qld), Western Australia (WA), the Northern Territory (NT) and Tasmania (Tas).

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