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Forward abatement estimate

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14 October 2022


All Emissions Reduction Fund projects must provide a forward abatement estimate (FAE) in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2-e).

The FAE is your best estimate of the total amount of carbon abatement in tCO2-e from your project. Carbon abatement is the removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere or the avoidance of greenhouse gases.

The purpose of the FAE is to allow the Clean Energy Regulator to assign an audit schedule for your project.

Your FAE is an estimate only and should be rounded to the nearest 50,000 tCO2-e over the crediting period for your project. This will be 25 years for savannah burning projects and 7 years for all other emissions avoidance projects. The crediting period will be 15 years for avoided deforestation projects and 25 years for all other sequestration projects. Note the crediting period for a project may not be the same as the contract period.

The audit schedule will set out the number of known or 'scheduled' audits for a project.

How to estimate your forward abatement estimate

There is no one 'right' way to calculate your FAE. It is expected you will estimate the amount of abatement your project is likely to achieve as part of your normal business practice to help guide whether to undertake the project (i.e. investment decisions). Your figures used to make this type of business ​decision or to gain financing can be used as your FAE.

To make a reasonable estimate you should:

  • identify the types of activities you are planning to undertake
  • identify how many locations you are planning to undertake the various activities at, and
  • use the method calculations, other tools or expert advice to guide your estimates of abatement.

Some methods have tools available to calculate emissions achieved, such as the solid waste calculator, or FullCAM tool, which may be used to estimate your abatement.

For other methods there may not be any tool or calculator available. You may consider the use of a third party expert, such as an engineer, statistician or specialist consultant, to assist you in estimating how much abatement your project might produce.

If you are a transitioning Carbon Farming Initiative project or have undertaken similar activities under other state or territory schemes, you may use your historical data to predict the future performance of your project. This data should be considered in combination with the understood abatement curves to guide you to a reasonable estimate.

Underestimation of your forward abatement estimate

Variation between the FAE and actual carbon abatement achieved is expected.

In the event you underestimate your FAE, and would have otherwise been scheduled for more audits, trigger variance audits may be required. If you think your abatement may significantly vary from your FAE you should consider the possibility of one or more trigger audits being applied to your project and cost your compliance accordingly.

Overestimating your FAE may result in a reduction of the number of scheduled audits if your reports demonstrate a large overestimation over time.

An example of a forward abatement estimate

​Calculating a FAE for a new project

Joe is planning to run a project under the commercial buildings method, and he wants to upgrade 20 commercial buildings by an average of one NABERS star rating each.

Joe has identified a number of different activities that he’d like to undertake for his project – some in all buildings and some in only a portion of the buildings.

While the commercial buildings method provides calculations of abatement, given the complexity of the types of activities and range of activities he’s planning for his project, Joe finds a consultant who has undertaken similar projects in the NSW Energy Savings Scheme and who is also a NABERS accredited assessor to estimate his forward abatement estimate.​

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