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Exemption from liability

Exemption from liability

Companies that carry out emissions-intensive trade-exposed activities may be eligible for exemption.

Emissions-intensive trade-exposed activities are specified in the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations 2001. They include aluminium smelting, zinc smelting, petroleum refining and newsprint manufacturing. A complete list of emissions-intensive trade-exposed activities is available on our website.

Move from partial to full exemption

Previously, the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 provided for partial exemption for electricity used in defined emissions-intensive trade-exposed activities. In June 2015 the Act was amended to allow for full exemption from liability for emissions-intensive trade-exposed activities.

Full exemption applies for 2015 onwards. Therefore we re-issued full exemption certificates for 2015 after the corresponding change in the Regulations. This change will also result in an adjustment to the 2016 renewable power percentage and small-scale technology percentage.

Applications for exemption

How are we tracking?

Exemption given in 2015:

  • 162 exemption certificates issued, totalling 38 024 941 megawatt hours, and
  • 46 emissions-intensive trade-exposed activities covered.

Under the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000, prescribed persons may apply for exemption certificates. These are usually the entities that carry out emissions-intensive trade-exposed activities.

Each exemption certificate states the amount in megawatt hours of electricity approved for exemption, provided to the liable entity named on the certificate (usually the retail electricity supplier). The exemption is for electricity used in the emissions-intensive trade-exposed activity during the year specified on the certificate.

In 2015, we received 164 exemption certificate applications by the legislated deadline. Applications spanned 46 of the 53 eligible emissions-intensive trade-exposed activities.

As at 31 December 2015, we had issued 162 exemption certificates covering all 46 activities and totalling 38 024 941 megawatt hours. The other two applications were found to result in a zero exemption.

Ten activities account for 87 per cent of the exemption issued. The aluminium smelting sector had the most exemptions, with 62 per cent of the exemption issued. This was followed by smelting zinc at 4.9 per cent and manufacture of newsprint at 2.9 per cent.

Full details of the exemption issued in 2015 for each emissions-intensive trade-exposed activity are in Appendix B.

Energy acquisitions reporting

How are we tracking?

Energy acquisition reports in 2015:

  • 120 liable entities required to report, and
  • 211 386 151 million megawatt hours of relevant electricity acquisition reported.

A total of 120 liable entities were required to report for the 2015 assessment year, six more than in 2014.

Energy acquisition statements and renewable energy shortfall statements for the 2015 assessment year were due on 15 February 2016, the first business day after the legislative annual deadline of 14 February. The following figures are initial data for reporting and certificate surrender for the 2015 assessment year. Statements for 2015 will continue to be assessed during the 2016 calendar year.

Liable entities reported 173 605 009 million megawatt hours of reduced acquisitions for 2015, made up of 211 386 151 million megawatt hours of relevant acquisitions of electricity minus 38 020 129 million megawatt hours of exemptions.


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