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Overview of an aggregated small energy users project

​An aggregated small energy users project involves offering goods and services to a large group of small energy users, such as households and small businesses, to help them reduce their consumption of grid electricity and natural gas. In doing so, the project will help reduce the amount of greenhouse gas entering the atmosphere. The project will also help households and small businesses save money on their energy bills.

Requirement for an accredited statistician
The aggregated small energy users method requires you to engage a statistician accredited by the Statistical Society of Australia Inc.  If you are not willing to do this you cannot run an aggregated small energy users project.

The use of the aggregated small energy users method also requires a complex understanding of statistics, so you may need to seek additional statistical advice to establish and run your project.

As the project owner, you can choose which goods and services you offer provided they meet the requirements of the method. For example, you could offer to upgrade equipment such as lighting, change building elements such as draft seals, or provide information to influence household energy consumption behaviour.   

You must also set up a control group: this is a group of small energy users who are not offered the chance to use your goods or services to reduce their energy use. The effectiveness of your project will be the difference between the amounts of energy the two groups use. It will be used to calculate the emissions abatement—which is based on the reduction in emissions from using your goods and services.   

If the emissions of the treatment group (the group receiving your goods and services) are lower than the control group by a statistically significant amount, you can receive ACCUs representing the emissions reduction. To account for the variability of emissions between small energy users both the treatment and control groups may need to include tens of thousands of small energy users.    

To conduct an aggregated small energy users project and earn ACCUs, make sure you read and understand the method and other legislative requirements. You will need to:

  • Download and read the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative – Aggregated Small Energy Users) Methodology Determination 2015 and its explanatory statement.
  • Download and understand how the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011 (the Act), the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Regulations 2011 and the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Rule 2015 apply to a project.
  • Seek legal advice if necessary to ensure that your proposed use of energy consumption data for your project is consistent with privacy legislation and your own privacy policies.   
  • Ensure you are the only participant seeking to use the energy consumption data for this group of small energy users for an Emissions Reduction Fund project or similar method in state-based energy efficiency schemes.   
  • Apply to register as a scheme participant, to open an account in the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units (ANREU) and to conduct an aggregated small energy users eligible offsets project.   
  • Establish your project according to the instructions in parts two and three of the method.
  • Engage an accredited statistician to certify your selection of control and treatment groups.  Consider also engaging a statistician to provide advice on the design of your project, in particular the number of sites to include in control and treatment groups and your choice of sub-method.    
  • Set-up record keeping and monitoring systems for your project as required by part 5 of the method.
  • Estimate the average annual abatement of your project and obtain an audit schedule for your project from the Clean Energy Regulator.
  • Engage a level two or three Greenhouse and Energy Auditor. It is important to do this early in your project, so that issues that may arise at audit are addressed early. Submit audits of your project according to your audit schedule.
  • Determine the abatement from your project using the calculations in part four of the method.   
  • Submit your offsets report as well as your application for ACCUs to the Clean Energy Regulator for assessment.

You must comply with relevant Commonwealth, state, territory, and local government laws and regulations when conducting your project, and you are advised to ensure that the goods and services you intend to deliver under the project are compliant with all relevant legal and regulatory requirements. Nothing in the method renders you immune from any other legal and regulatory requirements that could affect the conduct of the project. The Clean Energy Regulator will regard your compliance with all relevant legal and regulatory requirements when conducting the project as a relevant factor in its assessment of you as a fit and proper person for the purposes of the Act.

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