Michelle Lensink

Residential Energy Efficiency Scheme

Questions put forward to the Minister for Energy regarding the residential energy efficiency scheme.

23 March 2013

Can the Minister for Energy advise -

1. How many assessments have been conducted under the Residential Energy Efficiency Scheme (REES) over the current and previous two financial years?

2. What is the minimum qualification for those carrying out audits under REES?

3. How is their work audited and quality assured?

4. Have all employees under this Scheme had police checks?

5. How many are South Australian residents?

6. How much is the gross fee for an assessor for each audit?

7. How do businesses tender for this work?

8. (a) How many companies or individuals carrying out these audits are based in South Australia; and

(b) How many are not based in South Australia?

9. How many complaints have been received by -

(a) AGL; and

(b) the State Government?

10. What are the terms of reference of the review of REES?

11. How can an individual or an organisation make a public submission?

4 June 2013

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Minister for Forests, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for State/Local Government Relations): The Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy has advised of the following:

1.The assessments undertaken as part of the Residential Energy Efficiency Scheme (REES) are energy audits provided to low income households with calendar year targets of 3,000 audits in 2009 and 5,000 audits in both 2010 and 2011. In 2009 there were 3,675 audits, in 2010 there were 6,526 and in 2011 there were 3,326 audits conducted. Excess audits from previous years were used to reach the 2011 target.

2.The former Minister for Energy approved the Minimum Specification for an Energy Audit (the Specification) in October 2008. The Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy updated these in December 2011. This Specification sets out the competencies required by a person conducting REES audits and provide that:

For the purposes of demonstrating that a person has these competencies, it must be shown that:

(a)The person has received a Statement of Attainment for the following three units of the Certificate IV in Home Sustainability Assessment; CPPHSA4001A Assess Household Energy Use; and CPPHSA4005A Minimise health, safety and security risks when assessing home sustainability; and CPPHSA4007A Promote the adoption of home sustainability practices by residents; or

(b)The person has received a Statement of Attainment for the units CPPHSA4001A and CPPHSA4005A, described above, and these units were delivered in a way that has embedded the core principles of unit CPPHSA4007A to the satisfaction of the Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy (DMITRE); or

(c)Prior to 1 January 2012:

i.The person has completed a relevant training course, program or qualification which develops these competencies—i.e. Energy Friends©, the Home Sustainability Assessment Course developed by Sustainability Victoria or other relevant training course as approved by the DMITRE or the former Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure; AND have applied these competencies in practice within residential premises; or

ii.The person had more than 12 months experience conducting in-home energy audits which are consistent with the specification and with written references from at least two persons/organisations substantiating the competencies of the person undertaking the audit; or

iii.The person was an accredited Green Loans Assessor for the purposes of the Commonwealth Government's Green Loans Program.

A full copy of the Specifications is available at the Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCOSA)'s website http://www.escosa.sa.gov.au/library/111205-REES-EnergyAuditSpecNov2011-MinisterForEnergy.pdf.

3.REES energy audits must comply with the requirements under the Minimum Specification for an Energy Audit (the Specification) including the nature of the audit, and the auditors' competencies, training and experience.

The Commission is responsible for auditing and ensuring compliance with these Specifications.

4.As of January 2012, the REES Code requires that energy retailers are satisfied that a person is fit and proper person to conduct an energy audit.

5.The government has no information about the residency status of REES energy auditors.

6.The government understands that in most, if not all cases, energy retailers do not charge eligible households a fee to provide a REES energy audit.

7.Businesses can discuss and negotiate with obliged energy retailers about opportunities to assist them in delivering REES energy audits.

8.The government has no information about whether businesses delivering REES audits are based outside of South Australia.

9.The REES Code requires obliged energy retailers to ensure that households participating in the REES have access to the retailers' complaint handling and dispute resolution procedures.

AGL has advised it has received 11 complaints from customers about energy audits in South Australia over 2009, 2010 and 2011.

The state government (DMITRE and Consumer and Business Services) have recorded five complaints about REES energy audits over 2009, 2010 and 2011.

10.The Electricity (General) Regulations 2012 and Gas Regulations 2012 provide that the Minister for Energy must cause a review of the REES before 31 December 2013.

An Issues Paper for the review was released on the DMITRE website on 8 October 2012. This can be viewed at: (http://www.dmitre.sa.gov.au/energy/rees_review).

11.Submissions responding to matters raised in the Issues Paper were invited by 12 November 2012. Submissions received in response to the Issues Paper have been published on DMITRE's web site: (http://www.dmitre.sa.gov.au/energy/rees_review).

This includes the analysis by ESCOSA in July 2012, which revealed that in the first stage of the REES, covering 2009, 2010 and 2011, over 165,000 households received energy efficiency activities or participated in a home energy audit. ESCOSA estimated that this resulted in over $107 million in net benefits, with a benefit: cost ratio of 4.7.

 

 

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