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Electricity use method

31 July 2019

Applications for emissions-intensive trade-exposed activity exemption certificates

From 1 August, companies who conduct eligible emissions-intensive trade-exposed activities can apply for exemption certificates for 2020 in the Client Portal.

Information and resources for applying for exemption certificates using the electricity use method will be updated shortly.

Please contact us for more information.


Under the Renewable Energy Target, companies who conduct eligible emissions-intensive trade-exposed (EITE) activities can apply for exemption certificates.

Applicants that use more than 2000 gigawatt hours of electricity in 2018 need to use the electricity use method in 2019 to determine their exemption. All applicants must use the electricity use method from 2020.

How to apply

The 2019 exemption certificate application form is now available through the Client Portal as an online form. If you have not already done so, you will need to create a login to access the Client Portal. Detailed information to help you apply is available in the electricity use method guideline document on the forms and resources for industry assistance page.

All interactions between the agency and EITE companies will occur online though the Client Portal. EITE companies will be able to:

  • complete and submit the Exemption Certificate form – Electricity use method
  • receive communication during the assessment process regarding requests for information
  • receive exemption certificates
  • monitor an estimated exemption amount during the exemption year
  • provide internal meter information (if applicable) to assist in determining the exemption amount, and
  • receive a notification of the exemption amount after the exemption year is complete.

The legislated closing date for applications is 1 April 2019. No extensions can be granted.

In addition to the standard application form, the agency may, depending on your circumstances, also require other forms to be completed as part of the application process.

The Department of the Environment and Energy has also published an instrument called the emissions-intensive trade-exposed activity boundaries. Please refer to this as it describes the boundaries of EITE activities for determining an amount of exempt electricity.

Submitting a validly made application for exemption

The agency will only assess validly made applications for exemption certificates. Validly made applications must be accurately completed and contain all information required in the application forms in accordance with relevant provisions in the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 (the Act) and the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations 2001 (the Regulations). This includes any documentation that supports the application.

To ensure that an application for an exemption certificate is validly made, applicants should familiarise themselves with relevant parts of the Act and the Regulations before applying for an exemption certificate.

If an application is not validly made, we will advise the applicant in writing and provide reasons why it is not a validly made application.

  • The applicant may re-submit an application for assessment before the legislated deadline.
  • Where applications are not validly made and the deadline has passed, no further assessment will be undertaken.

It is recommended that you submit your application early in 2019 to allow sufficient time to assess whether your application is validly made.

After the due date the Clean Energy Regulator will not issue Requests for Further Information for applications not validly made.

Issuing exemption certificates

An exemption certificate is issued to a company who made an application (referred to as the prescribed person) for exemption of liable electricity used in the eligible EITE activity or activities conducted at a site in the year listed on the certificate.

If there are multiple liable entities listed in the application, the prescribed person will receive separate exemption certificates for each liable entity.

Each exemption certificate describes how the exemption amount, in megawatt hours (MWh), will be determined by the agency. We will provide the exemption amount after the exemption year.

Once applicants receive their exemption certificate they should discuss the provision of exemption certificate information with their liable entity. We will only provide this information to a liable entity listed in an application if we are authorised by the applicant. This authorisation can be provided in the application form or later in the year.

For further information on how the exemption reduces acquisitions for a liable entity is available, see reduced acquisitions.

Audit requirements

An audit report is required under the following circumstances.

Applicant uses electricity use method for the first time

  • The applicant has not previously made an application in relation to the site using the electricity use method.
  • The amount of exemption (in MWh) applied for exceeds 15,000 MWh for the application year.

Every three years

  • The year is at least two years after the last year the applicant submitted an application accompanied by an audit report.
  • The amount of exemption (in MWh) applied for exceeds 15,000 MWh for the application year.

On request by the Clean Energy Regulator

  • The Clean Energy Regulator gives the applicant notice in writing for an audit report.
  • The method to work out the exemption is materially different from the previous year.

The audit report must comply with the requirements of regulation 22UH of the Regulations.

An audit must be completed by a ‘registered greenhouse and energy auditor’ within the meaning of the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007, who is registered as a Category 2 auditor under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Regulations 2008. The auditor must have no conflict of interest with the applicant.

To learn more about the requirement for applications to include an audit report, see paragraph 46A(2)(bb) of the Act and Subdivision BA of Division 4 of Part 3A of the Regulations.

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