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Commercial and public lighting

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26 August 2016
ERF​​​

Is the commercial and public lighting method suitable for your business?

  • Are you looking at improving the energy efficiency of lighting systems in a commercial building, common area of a residential building, industrial building or in a public space?
  • If the lighting upgrade is part of renovation or reconstruction works, are the works exempt from requiring a development approval or a development approval is only required because of the lighting upgrade?
  • Will you be able to provide evidence that any replaced lighting equipment has been disposed of in a way that assures it cannot be re-used?

If you have answered yes to all of these questions, the commercial and public lighting method may be suitable for your business. Read on for eligibility and compliance details.

The commercial and public lighting method covers projects that improve the energy performance of lighting systems in commercial, industrial and public buildings, as well as public areas, such as pedestrian, street and traffic lighting. It can also include upgrades in the common areas of some types of residential buildings. By improving existing lighting systems, less electricity is consumed and emissions associated with the generation of electricity are reduced.

The commercial and public lighting method supports a broad range of activities which may modify, replace or supplement a lighting system. These include modifying or replacing illumination equipment (such as lamps and ballasts), installing lighting control systems (such as motion sensors, sensor lights, and programmable and manual dimmers) and installing equipment that generates electricity for direct use by the lighting systems (such as integrated photovoltaic luminaire units).

Please note the commercial and public lighting method was amended on 22 March 2016. Please ensure that you are referring to the latest version of the method. The Clean Energy Regulator will declare projects based on the legislation that is in force on the date of declaration.

Method variations

Section 114 of the Carbon Credits (Carbon F​arming Initiative) Act 2011 (the Act)​ allows for methods to be revised and varied. This is to ensure methods continue to operate as originally intended. Variations to methods are developed and drafted by the Department of the Environment and Energy. Information on draft methods and method variations is available on the Department of the Environment and Energy’s website.

The Clean Energy Regulator recommends making yourself familiar with proposed method variations relevant to your project should they arise, and how any changes between the original method and the varied method may affect your project plan.

Legislative requirements

You must read and understand the method and other legislative requirements to conduct a commercial and public lighting project and earn Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs). This includes:

Regulatory Guidance

Regulatory guidance and advice is published when needed to assist participants to understand requirements that may be complex or appear unclear or ambiguous. It is important to read all regulatory guidance relevant to your project.

Tools and Resources

Quick reference guide to the commercial and public lighting method

This quick reference guide provides basic information about eligibility criteria and obligations that must be met to earn ACCUs from a commercial and public lighting method. It includes specific links to the relevant legislation but should not be viewed as an alternative to reading the full legislative requirements. Additional information can also be found in the full method guide linked above.

Contents

Crediting period

Seven years – The crediting period is the period of time a project can apply to claim Australian carbon credit units.

Relevant section of the Act:

Eligibility requirements

There are general eligibility requirements in the Act, which include:

In addition, the commercial and public lighting method requires that:

  • All lighting systems have serviced areas that are included in Schedule 4 & 5 of the method.
  • The upgraded lighting system must be servicing the same type of area and same building type as the previous system.
  • Any existing equipment that is removed must be disposed of and not re-used or refurbished.

Further eligibility requirements and further detail on those listed above can be found in Parts 2 and 3 of the Method.

Relevant section of the Act:

Relevant section of the Method:

Exclusions

Subsection 11(1) (f) of the method states that if the lighting upgrade is part of a construction or building upgrade where a development approval is required for the works, it is not eligible under the method, with the exception of circumstances where a development approval is required only because of the lighting upgrade (and not for other work).

Further, applicants should be aware of the serviced areas that are excluded from this method (Section 8 (3)). They include residential dwellings (not including the common areas in BCA Class 2 buildings) and smaller hostels and boarding houses.

Relevant section of the Method:

How is Abatement calculated?

In broad terms, the method credits abatement by comparing an estimation of the energy used by the upgraded lighting system during the reporting period with an estimation of the energy that would have been used had the upgrade not occurred (during the same period).

The method estimates the energy use requirements (in watts) of both the old and new lighting systems based on the power of each lamp and does not require proponents to measure the energy consumption directly. The estimation uses deemed factors to establish the electricity usage based on serviced area and lighting control system type. The method also takes into account the climate zone of the serviced area for changes in the energy used for heating and cooling.

Relevant section of the Method:

Notifications requirements

The method requires the project proponents to notify the Clean Energy Regulator of the following:

  • Any safety issues that have been identified with the new lighting system.
  • If certain conditions are met, any product performance issues that have been identified with the new lighting system.

Relevant section of the Method:

Record keeping requirements

In addition to the general record keeping requirements of the Act and the Rules, Part 5 of the method sets out the information that must be kept and includes:

  • Evidence that any replaced lighting equipment has been disposed of in accordance with the requirements of the method.
  • Where any installed equipment would be required to be listed on the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (GEMS) Register, evidence that the equipment is on the Register.
  • Details in relation to lighting upgrades including the installation date and type of serviced area.
  • The statement by the licensed person/electrician that has supervised or undertaken the installation.
  • Where an upgrade occurs that requires agreement from a third party, certain information, in the form of a lighting report, must be disclosed to the third party and agreement from the third party received before the project commences. Section 12 outlines these disclosure requirements.

Relevant section of the Act:

Relevant section of the Rule:

Relevant section of the Method:

Reporting requirements

In addition to the general reporting requirements of the Act and Rules, Part 5 of the method sets out the following method specific requirements for offsets reports:

  • Identification of the location of each lighting system.
  • For the purpose of the particular offsets report, information about whether the lighting system is new, appeared in a previous offsets report or is a previous upgrade not appearing in the most recent previous offsets report and the reasons why.

Information must be reported in the format required by the Clean Energy Regulator.

Relevant section of the Act:

Relevant section of the Rule:

Relevant section of the Methods:

Audits

All ERF projects receive an audit schedule and must provide audit reports according to this schedule. A minimum of three audits will be scheduled and additional audits may be triggered. For more information on the audit requirements of the ERF see Part 19 of the Act, Part 6 of the Rule and information on Audits on our website.

Relevant section of the Act:

Relevant section of the Rule:

Specialist skills required/
​recommended

Specialist skills will be required to carry out the project with the method.

This method requires that a licensed person or electrician supervise the project including providing a signed statement that they either undertook or supervised the work. Licensed person means a person authorised by law or other regulatory arrangements to undertake a particular kind of lighting upgrade in a State or Territory, such as an electrician or line-worker.

Also, If you are conducting a project using aggregation or providing lighting upgrades for third parties, you may be required to provide a report on the expected performance of the lighting upgrade to the owner of the lighting system. The disclosure requirements of Section 12 of the method require that this report be prepared by a suitably qualified lighting specialist. Suitably qualified people include:

  • a Member, Fellow or Registered Lighting Practitioner of the Illuminating Engineering Society of Australia and New Zealand (IESANZ); or
  • a Professional Member, Fellow or Certified Lighting Designer of the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD).

Relevant section of the Methods:

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