Frequently Asked Questions

Residential activities

What type of energy saving activities are available to householders?
  • Energy efficiency upgrades of residential homes such as replacing downlights with energy efficient LEDs

  • The purchase of energy efficient appliances that consume less electricity than the average appliance of the same type.

Are energy efficiency upgrades delivered by the NSW Government?

The ESS is a NSW Government initiative, however, the delivery of the program is performed by businesses referred to as Accredited Certificate Providers, or ACPs. The services and products offered by ACPs will differ because they are operating within a free market. You should shop around to ensure that you are getting the best deals on products or services.

The role of the NSW Government is to set energy efficiency targets and provide the governance framework for the program through the legislation.

If you have a query about ACPs or the governance of the program, please contact IPART by sending an email to ess@ipart.nsw.gov.au.

If you have a question about the products or services covered by the program, please visit the Energy NSW website at energy.nsw.gov.au.

Who can offer residential energy efficiency activities?

Businesses that are accredited under the ESS to perform the residential activities as detailed on the Energy Savings Calculation methods page.  These businesses may be able to provide discounted energy savings services or products to residential customers.  Accredited businesses are called Accredited Certificate Providers, or ACPs.

An ACP may offer residential activities themselves or it may contract the work to third party installers, such as electricians or air conditioning technicians.  

ACPs can provide more information on the specific products and services they deliver.

ACPs and their representatives are not employees or representatives of the NSW Government.

How do I find a provider?

You can find an Accredited Certificate Provider by searching for companies that provide residential activities on our list of Accredited Certificate Providers and activities. These are providers who have nominated themselves as 'aggregators', willing to work with you to help bring your energy savings into the scheme.

The list includes details for the ACPs websites where you can find more information on what products or services they offer.

How much will it cost?

Energy efficiency upgrades: You will have to pay at least $30 (excluding GST) towards the cost of an energy efficiency upgrade in your home. This includes the cost of the products, installation, site assessment and other associated works carried out by the ACP (or its representatives). This payment must be made before the upgrade is completed and cannot be reimbursed to you. Additional costs may be charged by the ACP depending on the type and size of the upgrade.

Purchase of energy efficient appliances: You will have to pay the purchase cost of an energy efficient appliance which is determined by the appliances retailer.

Does the ESS give rebates?

No, the ESS is a certificate trading scheme rather than a rebate scheme. However, ACPs may provide you with discounted services or a ‘rebate’ as a result of their participation in the ESS. This is made possible through the creation and trade of Energy Savings Certificates by ACPs for the energy saving projects they deliver. ACPs may state that they provide a rebate, but this is a rebate from the ACP, not the NSW Government.

If someone offers me an energy efficiency upgrade, does that mean they are from the NSW Government?

No, ACPs are privately owned or publicly listed businesses. They are not from the NSW Government but they must be accredited by us in order to create Energy Savings Certificates from the projects or services they deliver.

ACPs may use door knockers or telemarketers to promote their services. You do not have to let anyone into your house if you do not want to. You should always ask to see the identification of anyone that contacts you about performing work in your home. Identification information should include the person’s name, the name of the accredited business they work with and the business address. 

Refer to the Registry or our List of Accredited Certificate Providers on our website to check if a business is accredited under the ESS. 

See the question “Who can offer residential energy efficiency activities?” above for details.

What do I do if a door-knocker insists that I take part in an energy efficiency upgrade?

You do not need to allow anyone into your home and you do not need to agree to any offers that an ACP makes.

Contacting consumers via door-knocking is not permitted:

  • Weekdays – before 9am or after 6pm

  • Saturday – before 9am or after 5pm

  • On Sunday or a public holiday.

However, a supplier or agent may visit a consumer at any time if the appointment has been made with the consumer’s consent.

Other things to note are that door-to-door salespeople need to:

  • Give a 10-day cooling-off period

  • Disclose their purpose and identity

  • Cease to negotiate on request and inform consumers of their termination rights.

If you have experienced an aggressive door-knocker, there are a number of options you can pursue to make a complaint.  Firstly, you can contact the business directly and advise them about the behaviour you have experienced. If you are still unsatisfied, contact NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20 or see www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au.

Is it compulsory to upgrade our home to energy efficient products?

No, your participation is voluntary.  You do not have to accept any offers made by ACPs or their representatives.  The NSW Government does not require households to upgrade their homes to be more energy efficient.

Like any other type of consumer decision making, you should shop around to ensure that you are receiving the right type of product or upgrade at a competitive price. An energy efficient upgrade can also be performed by a business that does not participate in the ESS.

Why do I have to sign paperwork that ‘nominates the ACP’?

As the householder, you are the ‘original energy saver’ ie, you benefit from the energy savings. The ACP must be nominated by you (the original energy saver) in order to create certificates for those energy savings. A nomination can only be made once for the same upgrade and must be made before the job starts. 

The installation of equipment must be performed by the ACP or their representative. This is to ensure that licensed and trained technicians install the equipment correctly and safely.

Why can't I keep my old equipment?

Removed or replaced equipment cannot be reused, resold or refurbished and must be appropriately disposed of by ACPs. This is to ensure that the old energy inefficient equipment is not used somewhere else after it is removed or replaced with new equipment.

How do I make a complaint?

You should take all due care to ensure that an energy efficiency upgrade at your property meets your needs. You should approach working with an ACP as you would approach working with any other contractor who has access to your property.

If you are not happy with the quality of work, or require more information, speak to your ACP. If you are unhappy with their response, or are concerned that the ACP or its representative has not complied with the requirements of the ESS, you can contact the ESS team by email at ESS_Compliance@ipart.nsw.gov.au.

Also, NSW Fair Trading advises business and traders on fair and ethical practice. They investigate unfair practices and ensure that the products sold in NSW are safe and meet the relevant regulations and safety standards.  More information about your rights as a consumer and how you can make a complaint is available on their website: www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au.

How long will residential energy efficiency activities be in operation?

It is the decision of individual ACPs whether they continue their programs while the ESS is in operation.  The ESS ends in 2025.

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