Applying for accreditation
Q. What is the application process?
A: Once the complete application (electronic and hard copy) and $500 application fee has been received, the application is accepted as being lodged and an Analyst will be assigned to process your application. The Analyst will review the entire application and will make the recommendations on accreditation to the Tribunal. [Please note that if the applicant has not provided complete information as requested in the application guide, we will not accept the application or invoice for the application fee and will request that the applicant revise the material and re-submit at a later date].
If the Analyst identifies information gaps in your application they will send you a Request for Further Information. This request should be addressed promptly to avoid delays in processing. Once the Analyst has all the information they need, they will assess your application and make a recommendation to the Tribunal. IPART will advise you of the Tribunal’s decision.
Q. How long will it take me to be accredited once I have submitted my application?
A: There is no guarantee an application will be accredited. An applicant has to demonstrate to the Scheme Administrator that all the requirements have been met before it can become an Accredited Certificate Provider, if not the Tribunal will refuse the application.
After your fee has been paid and your application is accepted, IPART staff will contact you in a timely manner to notify you if any further information is required. The application process takes approximately 3 months if the application package is complete and contains the required information.
The ESS Tribunal Committee, which makes the final decision, sits every 4 weeks. The Analyst needs to have all the information and be satisfied that all the requirements are met 2 weeks prior to the meeting before it can present the application to the Tribunal for accreditation. This could mean up to 6 weeks delay depending on the timing of the next scheduled meeting.
Q. What costs are associated with becoming an Accredited Certificate Provider?
A: There is a one-off $500 application fee which only needs to be paid for the first application. Future applications by the same company are not subject to this fee, including additional energy savings projects and amendments.
The registration of each certificate incurs a $0.70 processing fee which needs to be paid when registering the certificates. Certificates can only be traded once this fee has been paid.
Accredited Certificate Providers will have to undergo an independent audit which they are liable to pay. The costs depend on the scope of work, the type of audit and the nature of the energy savings activities. IPART will approve the scope of work prior to formally engaging the auditor and will normally seek quotes from at least 2 auditing agencies.
Q. Do I have to submit each project to the Energy Savings Scheme before creating certificates?
A: No. When you become an Accredited Certificate Provider you are able to create certificates once a specific energy savings activity has been completed and documented. This means that if the Accredited Certificate Provider undertakes similar projects in a way approved in their application, they can repeat this process across multiple sites. These projects will subsequently be checked in an audit.
If an Accredited Certificate Provider wants to undertake an activity which is different to the one they are accredited for, they will need to submit a new application to amend their accreditation.
Q. Can I apply to create certificates for projects that I have already completed?
A: There are two limitations to consider when determining the date that energy savings can be eligible for inclusion in the Energy Savings Scheme:
The activity must have been implemented on or after 30 June 2009, the date the scheme was implemented; and
Energy Saving Certificates can only be created for energy savings that occur after the date that we acknowledge lodgement of the application.
For example, if a project was completed in September 2009 and the Accredited Certificate Provider lodged their application in September 2011 then certificates can only be created from September 2011 onwards for the life of the energy savings project.
Q. At what stage in my project do I need to apply to the Scheme Administrator?
A: The date of application will depend on the type of project that will be undertaken and which calculation method will be used:
- For commercial lighting, using the Commercial Lighting Method, an applicant needs to apply after the first lighting upgrade has been completed. This is because a demonstration project is required to be submitted as part of the application. If an emerging lighting technology is used the applicant should first check with us if the specific type of technology is eligible.
- For Project Impact Assessment Method you can submit your application immediately after the project has been completed with all the information, or before the projects are implemented as part of an ongoing, multiple site, energy savings project.
- For the Metered Baseline Method the applicant should apply before the implementation of the energy savings activity. Under this method the applicant will need to establish a ‘before’ baseline by submitting metered data from previous years. Additionally the applicant will also need to have submitted an application to be able to create certificates for the energy savings that occur from this date.
Please note that you can not create certificates for energy savings that occur before the date your application was received by us and only after you have been accredited.
Q. What are my obligations once I am accredited?
A: As an Accredited Certificate Provider you are obliged to implement the energy savings activity in accordance with the Act, Legislation and the ESS Rule and with respect to the Accreditation Notice.
In broad terms, you are required to keep records as described in your approved record keeping arrangements, submit an Annual Report Statement and have the activity audited per the Accreditation Notice and advise IPART if there are any changes to your business or energy savings project.