Commercial and industrial sites

This page provides information about energy saving activities at commercial and industrial sites

Energy saving activities

There are a range of activities at commercial and industrial sites that may be eligible under the Energy Savings Scheme.  These may include:

  • efficiency improvements or line upgrades at industrial sites (eg, chemical plants, manufacturing plants, mills)
  • behavioral changes in the way energy is used in schools or hospitals
  • installation of efficient large refrigeration and cooling systems at retail and commercial sites, and
  • replacement of out of date equipment, or modification and efficiency improvements to existing equipment.

Common equipment level, or end-user equipment focused, energy savings opportunities can be found in:

  • compressed air systems (that are oversized or leak)
  • variable speed drives (VSDs) fitted to inefficient motors
  • modifications to large refrigeration systems
  • replacement or modification of HVAC Chillers and systems
  • decommissioning or retiring of old plant made redundant by more specialised equipment
  • installation of high efficiency motors
  • installation of power factor correction capacitors

Methods covering commercial and industrial sites

There are seven calculation methods that are applicable to commercial and industrial sites.

A brief overview of these methods and types of activities is provided in the table below.  Use links to find out more detailed information about each method.

Calculation Method


Appliances for Business

Retail and other commercial businesses can participate in the ESS when they install or retrofit large refrigeration and cooling systems.

High Efficiency Motors

Calculate energy savings certificates for the sales or installation of high efficiency motors. The energy savings certificates are calculated based on a lifetime ranging from 12 to 25 years. This method is being phased out, with no new accreditations after 15 April 2016.

Metered Baseline Methods

Establish baseline energy use, at a whole site or part of a facility, before a project is implemented. Then compare performance of the new systems against the baseline.

Comparing baselines is most appropriate where:

  • energy savings result in a significant reduction in site electricity consumption (more than 10%), and
  • historical electricity consumption data is available.

NABERS Baseline

Calculate energy savings from improving the certified NABERS Rating for a building.

Power Factor Correction

Calculate energy savings certificates for commercial and industrial sites with large inductive load, where correcting the power factor can result in substantial energy savings.

Project Impact Assessment Method (PIAM)

Engineering assessments are used to calculate the reduced electricity consumption resulting from the new equipment, process or system. It is used where:

  • the energy savings are small compared to the overall site consumption
  • unexplained variation in baseline energy consumption is high, or
  • historical electricity consumption is unavailable.

This method is being phased out, with no more accreditations after 30 September 2014.

Project Impact Assessment with M&V (PIAM&V)

Measurement and verification techniques are used to calculate energy savings by comparing a baseline energy model with post-implementation performance.

A Measurement and Verification Professional (MVP) must verify the inputs, factors, methods and measurements used to calculate energy savings.