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Proposed EEO Program Changes – Comments Due Tomorrow!

As part of the Full Cycle Evaluation of the Energy Efficiency Opportunities Program, the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism held public consultations in Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney from the 13th to 24th of May 2013.

The Department tabled their proposed changes to the program which focussed on three major areas: Reporting, Assessment Framework and Recognition of Energy Management Excellence.

During the Melbourne consultation, Department representatives expressed desire to reduce compliance costs for business. Additionally, they stressed that the proposed changes will not add any additional compliance obligations to existing participants and that the changes will not affect first or second cycle assessment plans already approved by the Department.

In terms of Public Reporting the Department’s changes seek to simplify the mandatory reporting requirements of the EEO program, facilitate public communication of reporting outcomes and simplify the amalgamation of annual public reporting into existing corporate reporting methods and timelines. A summary of all changes is detailed in table 1.

For Government Reporting the time period of twice per cycle remains the same. However, as a replacement for the opportunity summary tables, participants have the option to provide either a list of the top 10 most viable energy efficiency opportunities or the number of opportunities equivalent to 80% of the total energy saving. Additionally, participants no longer have to provide energy performance indicators and can provide energy consumption and production data “to an appropriate level”. A summary of all changes is detailed in table 2.

Changes were proposed to the Assessment Framework to provide participants with greater flexibility as to how they meet the intent of the EEO assessment framework, simplify and reduce the information needed for key requirements and remove areas of duplication and requirements that do not add value. The largest proposed changes were removing the requirement to assess potential opportunities to an accuracy of +/- 30 % and instead assessing potential opportunities to accuracy commensurate with the financial investment associated with potential implementation.

The Department also introduced their new initiative “Recognition of Energy Performance Excellence”. The proposed initiative seeks to recognise participants that have excellent energy management systems and processes. It aims to reward participants who meet their criteria by publically reporting their achievements and by allowing recognised corporations to base their assessment on their own processes and systems rather than complying with specific requirements of the EEO Assessment Framework.

Written feedback (page 4) for all the proposed changes will be accepted until the 31st of May. The Department aims to have the revised regulations in place by August 2013 at the latest.

Summary of Proposed Changes to the EEO

Table 1. Public Reporting Changes Summary (DRET, 2013)

Current RequirementsProposed Requirements
Fulfil annual data requirements as stipulated in EEO public reporting templates and regulationsCorporations only required to publically report:Short description of how the corporation is managing its energy useOverview of assessment resultsDetailed description of at least one opportunity per key activity/business unitStatement that corporation has met EEO assessment requirements
Corporations can now determine:The format of public reportsHow reports are made public and have flexibility within the timeframes as to when the reports are made public

Table 2. Proposed Changes Government Reporting Summary (DRET, 2013)

Current RequirementsProposed Requirements
Fulfil annual data requirements (twice per cycle) as stipulated in EEO public reporting templates and regulationsAs a replacement for the opportunity summary tables, proposal to provide either a list of the top 10 energy efficiency opportunities, or the number of opportunities equivalent to 80% of total energy savings with:Energy and financial savingsPayback and implementation status
As a voluntary alternative to providing energy performance indicators:Provide energy use and production data at an appropriate level

Table 3. Assessment Framework – Major Changes Summary (DRET, 2013)

Current RequirementsProposed Requirements
1 – LeadershipKey Requirements unchanged
2 – PeopleKey Requirements 2.1 and 2.2 merged
3 – Information, data and analysisWording change to Key Requirement 3.1 to clarify reason for business contextual informationMerging key requirements 3.2 and 3.3 so as to simplify requirements
4 – Opportunity identification and evaluationRemove requirement to assess potential opportunities to an accuracy of 30%Accuracy now commensurate to an accuracy commensurate with financial investment associated with potential implementation
5 – Decision makingIncreased flexibility about what contextual information is presented to decision makersMerge Key Requirement 5.2 and 5.1Alter 5.3 to emphasis review processes to encourage learning from assessments
 6 – Communicating OutcomesSlight changes to information requirements

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