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Multi-year monitoring period

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18 June 2020

A multi-year monitoring period provides responsible emitters with time to implement emissions reduction projects, acquire Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) or average out peaks and troughs in emissions.

About multi-year monitoring periods

Safeguard baselines are usually set based on emissions over a single financial year and this aligns with how emissions are reported under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme. This allows responsible emitters to readily compare covered emissions reported for a facility in the financial year against the facility’s safeguard baseline and determine if a facility has exceeded its baseline. The single financial year is referred to as the ‘default monitoring period’.

If a facility has emissions that exceeded (or is reasonably likely to exceed) its safeguard baseline for a financial year (a default monitoring period), it may apply for a multi-year monitoring period. The multi-year monitoring period can be a two or three year period and provides responsible emitters with additional time to reduce average net emissions so that they are at or below the facility’s average baseline for the period. Average net emissions can be reduced by either reducing actual emissions from the facility, or by surrendering ACCUs.

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, amendments were made in May 2020 to the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Safeguard Mechanism) Rule 2015. This includes allowing responsible emitters to opt-in to extend a multi-year monitoring period that ceases on 1 July 2020, by one year. Please email to discuss opting-in.

At the time of application, a responsible emitter must explain how they will achieve compliance by the end of the multi-year monitoring period, and declare any risks that would cause them to not meet their compliance obligation. If ACCUs are likely to be used to achieve compliance, a responsible emitter must provide an estimate of the expected number of ACCUs to be used.


To be eligible for a multi-year monitoring period, a responsible emitter must be able to demonstrate that:

  • covered emissions in the first year of the multi-year monitoring period have been, or a reasonably likely to be, greater than the existing baseline for the facility, and
  • net emissions for the facility will be lower in the remaining years within the proposed multi-year monitoring period such that it will enable the facility to avoid an excess emissions position at the end of the monitoring period.

In addition to the above, a facility will also be ineligible for a multi-year monitoring period if the proposed monitoring period overlaps with an existing multi-year monitoring period.

Please see the guidance within the Documentasset: CER-NGER-011 Application for a multi-year monitoring period under the safeguard mechanism form for further information about what needs to be provided to demonstrate eligibility.

How to apply

To apply for a multi-year monitoring period, please complete the multi-year monitoring period application form.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the Clean Energy Regulator on 1300 553 542 or via email, to discuss their application before submitting it for assessment.

Application deadline

Applications must be received by the Clean Energy Regulator no later than 1 February immediately following the first financial year of the proposed multi-year monitoring period

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