Efficiency Insight - June 2020

Efficiency Insight is the Energy Efficiency Council's monthly energy management update for members, partners and stakeholders.

President's welcome

Back at the start of April I wrote to you to outline the Energy Efficiency Council’s strategy for protecting jobs in the energy efficiency sector and playing our role in the recovery.

The framework I announced – Protect, Pivot and Rebound – was designed to ensure the Council was proactively engaged on the key phases of the recovery that we knew – even back in April – would be essential to safeguard our sector.

It seems like a long time ago. Decisive action from state and federal governments has seen Australia ‘bend the curve’, and for the moment at least the immediate health crisis is under control.

However, the task of rebuilding our economy remains before us. We have worked with partners large and small to ensure energy efficiency is central to conversations around stimulus.

This push is continuing to build momentum; indeed there are some very exciting announcements on this front that the team will be sharing with you in the next few days.

However, the reality is that while we deal with the urgent we can’t forget the big strategic issues facing our sector. That’s why Luke, Rob and the team remain actively engaged in consultations on the Technology Investment Roadmap, the Future of NABERS and the NSW Government’s new Energy Security Safeguard. We need to deal with both the immediate crisis and the big long term issues.

New roadmap supports emissions reduction for Aussie industry

This focus on the future is why I welcome today's release of a new report, Pivot – Rebound – Transform, an independant paper from the experts on the Market Transformation Task Group established by the Energy Efficiency Council.

These specialists in carbon and energy management have  developed a plan for rapidly transforming the energy management market that supports Australian industry, and at a time of great uncertainty their recommendations could not be more timely. 

Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox and Energy Efficiency Council CEO Luke Menzel have both welcomed the report this morning; you can read more here, and below.

Wholesale demand response coming October 2021

Ultimately a focus on the long term pays off, as evidenced by the new wholesale demand response mechanism announced by the Australian Energy Market Commission last Thursday. This was a change advocated by a large number of organisations, but I can say as a Board we are particularly proud of the role that the Council has played – particularly Rob Murray-Leach – in keeping this issue on the agenda over the last decade.

The Council’s Board met yesterday afternoon. Having successfully navigated some challenging months, our attention is firmly on how we can continue to have an impact on behalf of our sector over the coming year. I’ll have more to share soon, but one thing is for sure; we will be unrelenting in advocating for the role of energy efficiency, energy management and demand response in both the short and the long term.


Professor Tony Arnel

Energy Efficiency Council

Connect with Tony on LinkedIn.


Welcome to new Energy Efficiency Council member A2EP

Policy update

From First Fuel: Unpacking Active Efficiency with Andrew McAllister

Efficiency Leaders with Scott Ferraro of Monash University

New roadmap supports emissions reduction journey for Aussie industry

Online professional development: First Fuel podcast and more

Expert view: Demand side measures can avoid Victoria’s forecasted gas supply shortfall

To subscribe to receive future editions of Efficiency Insight direct to your inbox, click here.

Welcome to new Energy Efficiency Council member A2EP

The Energy Efficiency Council would like to welcome its newest NGO Partner member, the Australian Alliance for Energy Productivity (A2EP).

A2EP is an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit coalition of business, government and research leaders promoting a more energy productive economy.

This a critical time for the energy management sector, and this new partnership will allow us to work more closely than ever with A2EP CEO Jarrod Leak and his team to ensure energy efficiency is put at the heart of Australia's energy transition.

Integrative design for radical energy efficiency webinar with Amory Lovins

9am - 10.30am AEST, Thursday 18 June 

If you haven't already registered, be sure to join Jarrod at 9am this morning, when he will be joined by Amory Lovins, Co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Rocky Mountain Institute.

Click here to register.

Amory Lovins is renowned as a leading integrative designer of super-efficient buildings, factories and vehicles and has recently been exploring how to make integrative design the new normal so that investments in energy efficiency can yield expanding rather than diminishing returns.

Policy update

Rob Murray-Leach, Head of Policy, Energy Efficiency Council

Extraordinary coalitions call for an efficiency-led stimulus

Momentum has been building for COVID-recovery stimulus packages that focus on both energy management and renewable energy. The reason for that is pretty simple:

-       Jobs: Energy efficiency is extremely effective at creating local jobs. McKinsey and Company estimate that every $10 million of stimulus that is focussed on fossil fuels will create 27 jobs. However, if governments spend $10 million to stimulate investment in renewable technologies it will create 75 jobs, and if they focus on energy efficiency it will create a whopping 77 jobs. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has also highlighted that Energy efficiency is a tried-and-true stimulus strategy. In 2009-2011 the United States invested USD $11 billion in energy efficiency upgrades, which created 200,000 jobs.

Beyond Zero Emissions has just released a new report that concluded that upgrading the energy efficiency of 2.5 million existing homes and building new efficient public housing would create over 180,000 jobs in Australia. This report is a ‘must read.’

-       Counter-cyclical: Good stimulus measures involve governments increasing expenditure during downturns, investing in infrastructure that delivers long-term improvements in welfare or productivity, and then reducing expenditure as the economy recovers. Energy efficiency investments fits neatly into this pattern, especially upgrading public buildings like hospitals and public housing that deliver long-term budget savings. One Australian government has estimated that spending around $500 million to upgrade its own buildings would deliver over $2 billion in reduced energy and maintenance costs over the life of those assets.

-       Reducing emissions: Countries need to urgently invest in clean energy and energy efficiency to meet their greenhouse gas reduction targets. Energy efficiency is a huge and often overlooked source of emissions reductions – between 2014 and 2016, an estimated 75 per cent of global emissions reductions from the energy sector came from energy efficiency, with around 25 per cent coming from renewables, fuel switching and other sources. The abatement from renewables should ramp up rapidly over the next decade, but efficiency will continue to play a key role.

-       Health and affordability: Many Australian home have very poor insulation, draughtproofing, heating and cooling. This means that these homes are not only expensive to run, they also get dangerously cold in winter and dangerously hot during heatwaves. A study from 2016 modelled that upgrading the energy efficiency of existing homes could reduce the mortality from future heatwaves by 90 per cent.

As a result, Germany will focus 30 per cent of its 130 billion Euro economic recovery package on activities to cut emissions. Likewise, the European Union will focus much of its stimulus on a ‘green recovery’, with its Green Deal aiming to invest around 1 trillion Euros to make the bloc climate neutral by 2050.

These developments haven’t been lost on Australian business and community leaders. As we highlighted in our last newsletter, a broad coalition of groups have called for energy management to play a key role in Australia’s economic recovery, including the Business Council of Australia, Australian Council of Trade Unions, Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and the Australian Industry Group.

This details of this broad call for action are now being filled out by various sectors. Yesterday a coalition of building groups launched a plan for economic recovery focussed on energy efficiency and clean energy in the building sector. The Property Council of Australia, the Green Building Council of Australia, the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council and the Energy Efficiency Council jointly called on governments to create 90,000 job years of employment through measures that include:

  1. Improving the comfort and performance of residential homes through targeted equipment upgrades and incentives for deeper retrofits, with a priority for social housing and low income and vulnerable households; 
  2. Driving commercial building upgrades through tax incentives and establishing a ‘Smart Building Fund’ to support mid-tier building owners to rate and guide the upgrade of their buildings;
  3. Embarking on an ambitious program to upgrade schools and hospitals and other government owned and occupied buildings with the Commonwealth committing to match funding from state and territory governments up to $150m in each jurisdiction;
  4. Empowering building owners, buyers and renters with a single national rating scheme for home energy performance and prioritising its development in line with the recent recommendations from the King Review; and
  5. Undertaking a rapid review of skills needs around energy efficiency, and roll out priority measures to support workers transitioning from other sectors.

In coming days an extremely large coalition of housing, community, welfare and other groups will launch another set of detailed recommendations that focus on improving the energy efficiency of low-income homes. This plan will be available at the ACOSS website as soon as it is published.

Any one of these statements is remarkable, but it is genuinely extraordinary to see multiple aligned statements coming out in such a short period of time. I have rarely seen this type of consensus from peak bodies representing businesses, communities and the environment.

Whether Australian governments will fully heed these calls is still unknown, but the conversation isn’t changing – it’s changed. I’m wary of making statements that sound like propaganda, but there isn’t any other way to put it - Australia’s business and community leaders are literally united in calling for governments to take action on energy efficiency.

Victorian public housing

A common call across groups is for governments to stimulate the economy by investing in new social housing and upgrading the energy efficiency of existing social housing. ‘Social housing’ is an umbrella term for housing that is provided for people with low incomes or particular needs, and includes ‘public housing’, which is owned and operated by governments, and ‘community housing’, which is owned and run by non-profits.

The Victorian Government has heeded this call, with an announcement that it will invest almost $500 million to build 168 new social housing units and upgrade 23,000 existing dwellings. While much of this funding will go to various forms of basic maintenance, the Victorian Government has specifically earmarked $4 million of investment to upgrade hot water systems and lighting in high-rise public housing.

Queensland schools

The Queensland Government has also brought forward some of its expenditure on clean energy as part of its stimulus program. The Queensland Government previously committed $97 million to an ‘Advancing Clean Energy Schools’ program that will install solar PV and energy efficiency measures in over 800 state schools by June 2022. The program is planned to be rolled out in three phases. On 21 May 2020 the Queensland Government announced that it would bring some of that investment forward to stimulate the economy.

Federal tax deductions extended

On the 9 June 2020 the Australian Government announced it will extend the $150,000 instant asset write-off until 31 December 2020. This program can be used to help energy users invest in substantially improving the energy efficiency of their facilities.

The instant asset write-off allows businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $500 million to instantly write off new and second hand assets where each asset costs less than $150,000. Under the current law, these assets must be first used or installed between 12 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 – the proposed extension of the period to 31 December 2020 has not yet been passed into law, and must go through the parliamentary process.

The EEC strongly urges members and energy users to learn about this program. EEC staff have been advised that millions of dollars of investment in clean energy and energy management assets have already been made under this program, and it has the potential to drive further investments in energy management.

Energy efficiency schemes

Australia’s energy efficiency schemes continue to deliver large energy and carbon savings. Developments in the last month include:

-       The Victorian Government has announced that the Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) Program target for 2021 will be 6.5 million certificates, the same amount as in 2020. The government is still working on setting the targets for 2022-25 but the Hon Lily D’Ambrosio has announced that she is committed to ambitious targets for that period. The Victorian Government has not yet announced when it will lift the temporary suspension of some in-home activities, and we will advise members as soon as this occurs.

-       EEC members have met several times with the NSW Government to discuss the design of the Energy Security Target and Safeguard, including its new peak reduction scheme. These measures consider both supply-side and demand-side measures in ensuring energy security in NSW, and this could have positive ramifications for both NSW and other states. We anticipate more details on the schemes later in 2020.

Demand response mechanism

On 11 June 2020 the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC)  released its final determination on a Wholesale Demand Response Mechanism (WDRM). The AEMC has determined to introduce a WDRM that will start operating on 24 October 2021.

We set out the details of the WDRM in more detail last week, but in summary - many energy users pay relatively flat energy tariffs and are not incentivised to reduce demand when wholesale energy prices are high. The WDRM will enable large energy users to sell their demand response to a Demand Response Service Provider (DRSP), who can then sell it into the wholesale electricity market as if it is generation.

This rule change will enable energy users to continue their current arrangements with their energy retailer and have a completely separate relationship with a DRSP, which could be their current retailer, a different retailer or a non-retailer. In other words, the mechanism will reduce the barriers to energy users engaging experts to help them manage their demand.

Only commercial and industrial energy users will be able to participate in the WDRM. The AEMC has indicated that smaller energy users will have to wait until the development of a ‘two-sided’ energy market to facilitate demand response by smaller energy users. However, smaller energy users (e.g. households and SMEs) can still participate in demand response by either becoming exposed to the wholesale spot market price or agreeing to be rewarded by their energy retailer if they reduce their demand when called upon to do so.

This reform will help support the development of more demand response capacity in the National Electricity Market (NEM), which will help to ensure that Australia has enough capacity to meet demand during periods of peak demand days or when generators or interconnectors aren’t functioning.

This rule change is the result of over a decade of work by a range of dedicated reformers that are too numerous to mention, but particular congratulations to the rule change proponents (the Government of South Australia, PIAC, TEC and TAI), the Australian Energy Market Operator and the Australian Energy Market Commission. The Australian Energy Market Operator will lead the next step of the process in terms of designing the details of the WDRM.

From First Fuel: Unpacking active Efficiency with Andrew McAllister

Recently on our podcast, First Fuel, EEC CEO Luke Menzel spoke with Commissioner Andrew McAllister of the California Energy Commission. It was a wide ranging discussion that included an explanation of the concept of ‘active efficiency’, which integrates traditional energy efficiency and demand response and is being championed by the US Alliance to Save Energy.

Read on for the portion of the interview that focused on active efficiency; to hear the entire interview and subscribe to future episode of First Fuel click here.

This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Luke: So Andrew, one of the topics that you’ve been talking about recently is ‘active efficiency’, which is not a term that has gained a lot of currency here in Australia but I can see has gained some momentum in the US. Do you want to unpack that for us?

Andrew: Sure thing. Traditional energy efficiency is the LED replacing and incandescent light bulb, doing the exact same service with less energy. That’s still absolutely valid if you’re a homeowner or a business owner, you want and need to make those investments. But increasingly we live in a distributed energy world in a time of changing climate with a much more urgent need for resilience.

Technology is shifting. With more EVs, and with more electric heating with heat pumps, we can move to more renewable generation over time, but all that requires investment in the distribution grid. We optimise that investment by having loads that can work with the system that’s there rather than just rebuild and gold-plate the network for rare peak load.

In short we need buildings with flexible loads. We want buildings to be able to drop load on a hot summer day when there’s not enough capacity, such as when you lose a power plant or transmission line. But we also want them to take more energy when we have a lot more solar available with nowhere for it to go.

So active efficiency is the combination of energy efficiency in the traditional sense and demand response. It is digitised, real-time and bi-directional. A lot of it is automated in the background. It could be that the building tweaks the temperature a little bit, or uses the water heater as thermal storage, or quickly charges the car in the middle of the day rather than in the morning. This creates opportunities to utilise no-carbon and carbon-free energy when its available in the system, which gives you the flexibility to not use more carbon-intense energy at other times of the day.

Active efficiency is good for the customer and good for the grid at large because it optimises the whole system. This is the time for this conversation because we have cheap communications, web-based platforms, and artificial intelligence. All these tools are routinely being used in many sectors of our economy,  but they aren’t being applied at any scale in the energy systems. We need that to change.

So active efficiency is a really compelling ‘two-for–one’, or even a ‘three-for’ or ‘four-for–one’ really – you get so many benefits by building in this capacity. This is especially the case if you are considering retrofitting a bunch of buildings as part of COVID-19 stimulus packages. The incremental investment in active efficiency is relatively small in terms of a broader upgrade to an existing building. It’s just piggy-backing these flexible technologies while you are doing energy efficiency upgrades and allowing our buildings to be all they can be.

Luke: Here at the Council we talk about active efficiency, but not in those words. I think it’s a nice phrase that really cuts through, because it knits together the two side of the conversation. Traditionally you have the supply side and demand side, and never the twain shall meet. But that concept of active efficiency facilitates a conversation with those folks who are passionate about the transition to renewables.

Of course there is a lot of concern around how you deal with a grid with higher penetrations of renewables. The good news is we have a whole toolbox over here, called active efficiency, that can help deal with that integration piece, and allow us to transition the supply side more quickly and cheaply than we otherwise could.

Andrew: Yeah, the bulk power system is going through an interesting transformation right now. In the US we’ve seen more coal retired just since Trump took office than during all of the Obama administration, even though the Trump administration is trying to support it. It’s not happening and that’s due to market forces. The reality is that we have an increasingly  dynamic system and baseload power like coal is not really adequate for it. And we have all these renewables that we need to find a home for. We’ve seen renewables overtake even natural gas as the largest chunk of new capacity in the last few years.

The reality is that the marketplace is pushing us in this direction. Certainly, there’s been muscular policy direction in California – ‘there has to be 100%’ is a very clear policy. So between the market and policy, the direction is clear. The practical challenge we now have is around optimisation, and active efficiency can really help with that. But we need to tell that story, and we believe active efficiency is a good term because it’s relatable.

Luke: So there are a bunch of ways of describing this broad set of ideas… can you compare active efficiency to some of the other terms floating around, like energy productivity and digital energy efficiency?

Andrew: I’m a Board Director at the Alliance to Save Energy, and we went through all of the above and then some, and landed on active efficiency. But energy productivity was right in the mix.

In the United States, there was a couple of years where there was a purge of anything related to climate in the federal political discussion. The Alliance focusses on the federal conversation by and large, so energy productivity had the benefit that it’s more likely to be bipartisan. Who’s going to say that doing more with less isn’t a good thing? So energy productivity became and remains a focus, especially in the industrial context certainly.

However in terms of having a marquee initiative, which is what we were brainstorming at the time, energy productivity didn’t quite get to the finish line because it’s a little too vague and not quite focussed enough. If you’re focussed on units of productivity or GDP per unit energy, you can envision that turning into increased emissions or energy consumption if you’re always successfully growing your economy. Clearly we need to change direction, reduce overall emissions and be explicit about that. So for us, the productivity discussion doesn’t have the quite right framing for the long term, but maybe it works for the near term.

Luke: And digital energy efficiency, which is a term coined by the International Energy Agency in its most recent market report?

Andrew: Digitisation is absolutely a great term in some contexts. It certainly sounds more European!

Active efficiency and digital energy efficiency are obviously kindred spirits. Active efficiency can’t happen if we don’t pull efficiency into the digital age and apply all these new technologies. Bi-directional communication, automated control,  building management driven by algorithms back in the cloud. That is digitisation, no question about it. It’s just a matter of what has traction with your audience, more than anything. The IEA is a place where digitisation might be a better fit than, say, in the US. The IEA has a relatively sophisticated audience!

To listen to this and other episodes of the Energy Efficiency Council’s podcast, First Fuel, click here.

Efficiency Leaders with Scott Ferraro of Monash University

The energy management sector is made up of many passionate professionals – and it’s about time we heard from them! In a new monthly feature, the Energy Efficiency Council will profile a current or emerging industry leader.

This month we’re profiling Scott Ferraro, Program Director of Monash University's Net Zero Initiative, and new member of the Energy Efficiency Council Board.

What is your role?

I’m the Program Director of Monash University’s Net Zero Initiative. I oversee the program which aims to deliver on Monash’s commitment to meet net zero emissions across its four Australian campuses by 2030.

What did you do prior to your current role?

I was the Head of Implementation at ClimateWorks Australia, working with government and industry to establish net zero pathways and a supportive policy environment.

What is your company’s/organisation’s role in the energy management market and Australia’s energy transition?

Monash is a not only a large energy user across its campuses, but we are also actively trying to develop solutions to help transition to a 100% renewable powered energy system. Under the Net Zero Initiative we’re looking to improve the efficiency of our buildings through retrofits, but also pushing the envelope on new buildings trying to meet a Passive House standard. We’re getting off natural gas, rolling out PV and have a PPA with the Murra Warra wind farm. But we also realise the solutions aren’t just supply side – and the microgrid we’re developing at our Clayton campus has the aim to enable us to have flexibility in our demand to reduce our operating costs, and also allow for greater penetration of renewables into the system.

What do you enjoy about working for your company/organisation?

The ambition of what we are trying to do, and the cross organisational support for it. We are trying to decarbonise our own operations, but in a way that helps solve the broader challenges the industry is facing.

How do you stay connected with your team when you aren’t in the office?

As a team we worked in a relatively flexible manner prior to COVID, so while there’s been an adjustment, it hasn’t been a giant shock. We’re trying to solve problems on a daily basis so we interact a lot on Zoom. We have regular catch ups, and try and share the personal as well as the professional.

How do you champion energy efficiency in your own home?

I’ve actually just moved back into my home after a 12 month plus renovation. We worked with our architects to ensure we had as good a passive design as possible on a small inner-city block working with a 100yr old building. We pushed hard on the insulation, paid extra for good windows, went all electric and have put in solar. 3 weeks in and worth every additional dollar for the comfort alone through the start of Melbourne’s winter!

Do you now work from home, and if so, what is something you enjoy about working from home?

Yes, I’ve been at home and will be for a while yet. I actually love not having to commute – not only does it reduce emissions, but gives me more time to get my kids out the door. I love school being back as well!

When not immersed in Australia’s energy transition, what do you do for fun?

I’m a keen, but not overly talented, surfer, so I’ll sneak down the coast when I can to escape the city, or when time poor, take advantage of the new wavepool that’s been built near the Melbourne airport.

What are you currently excited about in the energy world?

I’m excited that the demand side is starting to get more attention re the pivotal role it can play, and we’re starting to think about integration across various sectors of our economy. I’m on board with Luke’s recent podcast talking about “Active Efficiency” – I think we could take it one step further and call it “Interactive Efficiency”. The digital solutions available to not only drive greater energy efficiency, but to be able to orchestrate that energy is exciting, and being able to do that across the buildings and mobility sectors makes for some interesting times.

Why do you value being a member of the Energy Efficiency Council?

I think the demand side is getting more attention due to efforts of the EEC and its members, which is critical if we want to achieve net zero emissions as quickly and cheaply as possible. I also value the networking I get via the EEC’s ability to connect me with all the stakeholders across the sector. And the EEC’s policy work is second to none; the ability for me to share what we are learning which the EEC can feed into policy making to help shape the future energy market only helps enhance the impact I can have as an individual and an organisation.

Where do you see Australia’s energy and energy management markets in 2030?

Being an optimist, I think we will start to see the fruits of the market reform agenda playing out this decade, and the demand side getting its time in the sun. I think the energy management market is at a tipping point as we look to meet our emission reduction targets in ever shortening time frames; the technology is ready, the markets are emerging, and we’re figuring out the right business models. If as a sector we can bring our users and customers along on the journey with us, there’s no reason the 2020s can’t be the decade of energy management.

Pivot – Rebound – Transform: a practical plan for rapidly transforming the energy management market that supports Australian industry

The Energy Efficiency Council and Australian Industry Group have released a new report that sets out a practical plan for rapidly transforming Australia’s energy and carbon management market.

The report, Pivot – Rebound – Transform, highlights the crucial role of a vibrant energy and emissions management sector that supports Australian industry to build a new energy advantage while lowering emissions.

Industry Council on Energy and Emissions (ICEE)

One of the report’s key recommendations is the creation of a new peak bodies forum, the Industry Council on Energy and Emissions (ICEE).This committed group, modelled on existing initiatives addressing the built environment, would represent all parts of industry, and engage deeply with governments to co-design policies and programs, supporting their effective implementation.

Other priority recommendations include:

1.1          Running a rapid co-design process of agreed energy management market stimulus measures including the plan’s priority recommendations listed in this table;

2.1          Catalysing Energy Management System (EnMS) uptake by inclusion of ISO 50001 (or similar) provisions in current state-based energy efficiency schemes;

2.2          Engaging closely with other governments as NSW designs the new Energy Security Safeguard, with the goal of encouraging a cross-jurisdictional approach to incentivise widescale adoption of sub-metering, sensors, control systems, and industrial energy storage;

3.1          Rapidly creating the foundation of a professional development pathway for energy management service providers by delivering training and certification on key energy management opportunities for industrial businesses; and

3.2          Utilising the training and certification framework recommended in 3.1 to develop whole-of-government panels made up of highly qualified experts in targeted fields that will be able to deliver – with confidence from both government and industry – services to industrial businesses.

The report was prepared by an independent group, the Energy Efficiency Council convened Market Transformation Task Group, which was made up of energy and carbon experts, and Chaired by the Council’s Secretary, John Huggart.

Read the report here.

If you’re eager to take a deep dive into the recommendations we’ll be hosting a First Fuel live webinar recording on the topic in early July, so keep your eyes peeled.  

Online professional development: First Fuel podcast and more

First Fuel podcast

The Energy Efficiency Council's podcast, First Fuelbrings you the latest perspectives on energy efficiency, energy management and demand response from Australia and around the world.

If you've missed any of our recent live recordings, be sure to click here to subscribe to your prefered streaming service, where you can catch episodes one through seven, with episode eight not far behind. 

Upcoming First Fuel podcast live recordings

Keep your eyes on our Twitter, LinkedIn, and the podcast page to keep up to date on our upcoming recordings!

Online Energy Efficiency Council training


Certified Measurement & Verification Professional – only 3 spots left!

Dates: Monday 20 – Thursday 23 July 2020

Session 1: 10.00AM-12.30PM (please be online by 9.45AM to ensure a prompt start)
Break: 12.30-1.30PM
Session 2: 1.30-4.00PM
Exam: 4 hour exam individually scheduled and proctored in a two week window after course completion

Standard fee: $3,950
EEC member fee: $3,160

Click here for more information and to register.

Registrations close: 30 June 2020
Bruce Rowse
Videoconference: Zoom
Class size: 17 maximum
Mandatory pre-course work: 3-5 hours
Schedule: 20 contact hours + 4 hour exam

All dates and times are AEST.

Capturing the Value of Demand Response

Dates: Wednesday 4 – Thursday 5 August 2020
Times: 9am - 12.30pm AEST (both days)

Standard fee: $490 +GST
EEC member fee: $360 +GST

Trainer: Bruce Rowse
Videoconference: Zoom
Participants: 15 class members (max)
CPD: 8 contact hours; the certificate of completion will be emailed to you after the course.

Click here for more information and to register 

Energy auditing to the Australian Standard

Dates: Tuesday 11 - Wednesday 12 August 2020
Times: 9am - 12.30pm AEST (both days)

Standard fee: $890 +GST
EEC member fee: $660 +GST

Trainer: Bruce Rowse
Videoconference: Zoom
Participants: 15 class members (max)
CPD: 1.4 credits; the certificate of completion will be emailed to you after the course

Click here for more information and to register

Expert view: Demand side measures can avoid Victoria’s forecasted gas supply shortfall

By Trent Hawkins

The eastern Australian gas market has undergone significant transformation in the last five years, with six gas trains built in Queensland supplying LNG to international markets, and significant growth in gas production in northern Australia (namely from coal seam gas sources in Queensland). Alongside this expansion of Queensland gas supply, offshore gas resources in Victoria (Otway, Bass, and Gippsland) that have traditionally supplied southern states (New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria) have begun to deplete.

The 2019 Gas Statement of Opportunities (GSOO) prepared by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) highlighted a potential gas supply shortfall to the southern states by 2025. This forecast shortfall was responded to with calls for immediate government action to facilitate new gas production wells and other measures to increase supply. While many voices have called for additional gas supplies, there has been considerably less attention on the potential for measures that reduce gas demand to serve as a solution to the forecast gas shortfall.

Victorian Gas Market – Demand Side Measures to Avoid Forecast Supply Shortfall

Consequently, Northmore Gordon was recently engaged by Environment Victoria to assess the Victorian gas market supply and demand balance in the next ten years, and the role of demand side measures in avoiding any shortfalls.

Using data from the 2019 GSOO and modelled Victorian gas demand for each sector, we estimated the annual surplus or shortfall in Victoria until 2030. Forecast production estimates were taken from existing, committed, and anticipated projects, but did not include any available supply from northern regions (Queensland and Northern Territory) transported via gas pipeline to Victoria.


This analysis found that, on an annual basis, there is enough supply capacity in Victoria until 2027, however from 2027 until 2030 there is a shortfall of between 26 PJ and 85 PJ.

The same technology innovation that has led to falling prices in wind and solar PV has resulting in a plethora of high efficiency electric alternatives to fossil fuel combustion driven equipment. These include reverse cycle air-conditioners; heat pump hot water systems; and induction, microwave, and infrared process heating systems.

Industry, for many years faced with unprofitably high gas prices, has recognised the competitive advantage of direct procurement of renewable electricity, via on-site solar PV or off-site Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), and have combined these with efficient electric alternatives to replace out-dated natural gas combustion systems.Households have also followed suit, as evidenced by the uptake of rooftop solar PV and reverse cycle air conditioners for heating.

Electrification and efficiency opportunities across the economy

We assessed the potential for readily available electrification technologies and gas efficiency activities to significantly reduce Victorian gas demand and offset the need for new gas field developments. This review was based on existing published literature and previous work by Northmore Gordon for commercial and industrial clients. Measures were selected that were considered generally applicable and achievable in the next 5 to 10 years with current technology and targeted economic support.




Ease of implementation



Anticipated gas reduction (PJ/annum)


Replace ageing ducted gas heating systems





48 PJ


Improving building insulation[1]





> 10 PJ


Use existing air-conditioners for space heating


Very easy

Zero cost


5-15 PJ


Heat pump hot water





10 PJ


Heat pump space heating





7.75 PJ


Industrial gas efficiency





2.5 PJ to 5.5 PJ


Renewable process heating


Moderate to hard



13.6 PJ


High temperature heat pumps





1 PJ to 3.5 PJ


Induction cooktops





0.5 PJ

Total gas demand reduction

98.35 PJ to 113.85 PJ

 An important conclusion is that more than half of the total shortfall could be made up by a single measure – replacing ageing ducted gas space heating systems in households with efficient reverse cycle air-conditioning systems.

Energy efficiency and fuel switching almost entirely eliminate the forecast shortfall

By modelling a linear adoption of the proposed measures and mapping the resulting gas demand reduction against the forecast supply adequacy, we demonstrated that the adoption of measures such as energy efficiency and fuel switching entirely eliminates the forecast shortfall, with the exception of in 2028 which had a minor 6.5PJ modelled shortfall.

A detailed review was also conducted of existing and historic government support programs relating to gas usage and energy efficiency. The review investigated the efficacy of current programs in supporting households and businesses to improve energy efficiency and identifying potential pathways for supporting gas demand reduction measures.

Opportunities for policies and programs to facilitate the uptake of electrification and energy efficiency

Northmore Gordon also consulted representatives of industry associations, such as the Energy Savings Industry Association, Australian Alliance for Energy Productivity, and the Energy Efficiency Council. Drawing on the program review and input from industry association representatives, several policy recommendations were developed for government and decision makers. These included:

  • Amendment of Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) activities to remove support for fuel switching from electric to gas;
  • Introduction of new VEU activities to incentivise replacement of gas hot water systems and gas space heating systems with electric heat pump and reverse cycle air-conditioners;
  • Amending the Victorian Building Authority Minimum 6-star energy provisions to include heat pumps as acceptable solar hot water systems;
  • Establishing a Sustainability Victoria led training program, coupled with VEU support, to engage and educate relevant trades, developers, and building owners on all-electric homes;
  • Establishment of a new energy efficient business program, similar to the NSW Business Energy Saver Program within the Victorian Department of Environment Water Land and Planning (DEWLP) or the Department of Jobs Precincts and Regions (DJPR); and
  • Provide Victorian government backing and joint funding to the ARENA renewable process heat program.

Copies of the report can be downloaded from Environment Victoria's website.

About Northmore Gordon

Northmore Gordon is a specialist energy consultancy focused on reducing energy costs for industrial and large commercial businesses. For more information, visit our website at

Trent Hawkins is a Principal Energy Consultant at Northmore Gordon. Trent can be reached at

1 Gas demand reduction is not necessarily additive with other residential measures.

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