Efficiency Insight

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

Packed with in depth articles by leading industry thinkers, Efficiency Insight exists to:

  • Foster informed debate about energy management policy and practice in Australia;
  • Raise the profile of demand-side solutions; and
  • Shift the debate around Australia's energy transition from being largely focused on supply-side issues, to viewing demand- and supply-side capacity on an equally important footing.

Efficiency Insight also provides updates on major events and drives collaborative networking between energy management experts, policy makers and energy users. It's a 'must read' for anyone with a professional interest in energy management, energy efficiency and demand response.

Check out past editions via the menu to the left and click here to subscribe to get Efficiency Insight delivered directly to your inbox each month.

Efficiency Insight is complemented by the Council's monthly Professional Development Snapshot, and member-only Monthly policy briefing and Weekly news roundup.

Efficiency Insight - April 2020

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

CEO welcome

In a crisis it pays to be on the front foot; indecisiveness can often make matters worse. However, being both decisive and right is hard, especially if the crisis you're facing is a novel one. Data will be piecemeal, there will be competing opinions about the best way forward, and even once you have decided a course of action, lining the troops up behind you takes time.

COVID-19 is an extraordinary challenge of leadership. And I don't just mean our state and federal political leaders who, for the most part, have really stepped up in the last few weeks. These same challenges are being faced by leaders across Australia, in businesses, not for profits, community groups, local governments, and state and federal departments and agencies. People that lead organisations, lead teams or lead by example; we're all grappling, collectively, with how to support the people who rely on us, how to do the right thing for our organisation, and how to play our part in managing the broader economic and social impacts of this crisis.

Importantly its a challenge we're all facing simultaneously, which mean there is huge and immediate benefit in rapidly sharing information and strategies as they emerge. In our industry, we're working hard to act as a clearing house, to make sure our members and our broader network have the information needed to make good decisions.

New webinar series: Efficiency Insights

Which is why we're announcing our new webinar series, Efficiency Insights. Twice a month, every month, we will interview a local or global leader about a critical issue facing the energy management sector. One of these webinars will be for members only, and will canvas business critical technical, regulatory and market developments. The other will be open to everyone in our network, and give us the opportunity to kick along the public conversation around the role of energy efficiency and energy management.

We're launching on Tuesday 21 April with a member only webinar with Carlos Flores, Director of the NABERS, to unpack the recent, rapid changes NABERS has implemented in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Energy Efficiency Council members will get an invite to this session shortly.

Then the following week, on Thursday 30 April, we'll host our first public webinar with Anna Skarbek, CEO of ClimateWorks Australia, to discuss their new report Decarbonisation Futures, and the role the demand side can play in the economic recovery on the other side of this crisis. You can sign up for this session here, and further details are below.

Stay safe. Have a great long weekend. It's been a massive start to the year; I hope you can take a break over the next four days to rest and reflect.

Kind regards,

Luke Menzel
Chief Executive Officer
Energy Efficiency Council

Follow Luke on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn.


Policy update

Latest COVID-19 economic support packages for business

Decarbonisation Futures with Anna Skarbek

Why virtual comms in the energy sector is not only possible, it's necessary

Training update: transition to online delivery

Efficiency Leaders with Paul Lang from Schneider Electric

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

Policy update

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

Our response to COVID-19: Protect, pivot and rebound

After deep and rapid consultation with our members over the last month, the Energy Efficiency Council has been working with a broad coalition of industry, consumer and community groups to develop policy responses to COVID-19.

Australian governments’ first priority right now must be protecting the health of the community. However, we also need to protect the financial and mental wellbeing of the community, and minimise the economic damage caused by the pandemic.

The National Cabinet has restricted a range of personal and business activities, and these restrictions could be in place for many months. However, essential activities are continuing, as is working or studying at home.

Classic ‘stimulus’ measures will be far less effective during this period of restricted activities. Accordingly, governments’ economic support packages have focused on both providing a safety net for workers who have become unexpectedly unemployed, and helping organisations stay solvent and retain staff. This approach of protecting workers and businesses will minimise social disruption and put the economy in the best position to resume as restrictions ease.

Beyond this immediate economic protection, governments and businesses should consider how to use the shutdown period in the most productive way possible, so that the economy is in the best position to rebound on the other side of this crisis. Stimulus measures should be targeted to jumpstart economic sectors as restrictions ease. This approach can be framed as ‘Protect, Pivot and Rebound’.

Protect, Pivot and Rebound and energy management

Protect, Pivot and Rebound is a general framework for managing the economy in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. This approach provides for limiting job losses in the short term, bolstering industry skills and capability to support and drive regrowth, and stimulating demand to accelerate recovery.

Protect, Pivot and Rebound works best when economy-wide action is paired with targeted measures in particular sectors. In particular, focussing on improving energy management in homes and businesses would support the rapid rebound of the economy and support us on a longer-term pathway to a stronger economy by:

  • Creating 120,000 job-years of employment;
  • Cutting households’ and businesses’ energy bills by over $7 billion per annum;
  • Improving the health and wellbeing of the community – the low-quality of Australia’s homes is implicated in the estimated 2,600 deaths that occur each year during periods of cooler weather;
  • Strengthening the reliability and affordability of electricity grid; and
  • Dramatically reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Studies around the world have confirmed that investments in energy management are major creators of local employment in trades, professions and manufacturing. A report from 2019 found that at least 500,000 Australians spend part of their time improving homes’ and businesses’ energy efficiency, including electricians, architects and engineers. The amount of time that they spend on energy efficiency adds up to at least 59,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions. However, an ambitious strategy to upgrade Australia’s existing homes and businesses would create over 120,000 additional job-years of employment.

Below I outline our view on how these three stages should be managed in the energy management sector. 


Governments have announced measures that are aligned with the ‘protect’ stage of the pandemic that support a wide range of businesses to remain viable – such as reducing the cost to businesses of retaining staff. There is a strong case for pairing these general measures with targeted interventions in strategic sectors of the economy.

The Energy Efficiency Council is collaborating with governments to rapidly undertake a detailed impact analysis for the energy management sector, and develop a range of policy options to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on the sector.


There are several key actions that governments can take to support the economy to ‘pivot’ and prepare for the rebound, including:

  • Funding for rapid research to support the rebound, such as finalising the details of energy efficiency and energy management programs including large-scale retrofits of different building types;
  • Training to help upskill workers in fields such as construction and electrical trades so that they can help upgrade Australian buildings. For example, training for plumbers (initially online and eventually supported by in person training) could provide plumbers with the skills they need to install heat pump hot water systems; and
  • Clear, early guidance on the government programs that will drive the ‘rebound’ phase, as this will encourage businesses to pivot and take advantage of stimulus measures such as tax write offs already in place.


The majority of government funding should be directed to the rebound phase to support energy efficiency and energy management upgrades in:

  • Commercial buildings, including government buildings. There are significant advantages to upgrading commercial buildings right now, as many have no or low levels of occupancy, making it far simpler to upgrade them without disrupting tenants;
  • Homes to ensure that they are comfortable all year round, and minimise the number of households that experience extreme heat or cold in their homes; and
  • Manufacturing, mining and agriculture, helping businesses to retool for the 21st century.

The Energy Efficiency Council will continue to work with its members, partners and government stakeholders to refine and advocate for these proposals. We firmly believe that if we Protect, Pivot and Rebound our sector, and the wider economy during this time, we'll be best placed to transform the market for energy management products and services, and achieve a net zero economy with healthy and comfortable buildings, productive and competitive businesses, and affordable and reliable energy for all.

Latest COVID-19 economic support packages for business

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic governments around the country have rallied behind business and households. From Western Australia's initial $607 million package over three weeks ago, to the Commonwealth Government's $130 billion JobKeeper payment last week, we've been monitoring the economic support packages for business, and sharing member alerts with Energy Efficiency Council members. 

To view a round-up of all of the economic support packages for business announced by state and federal governments, and keep up-to-date on the lates announcements, including the recently announced grants of up to $10,000 for struggling small businesses in NSW and protections for landlords and private tenants in South Australia, please click here.

Announcements have been made by every state and territory as well as the Commonwealth, including:

  • JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments;
  • Assistance for businesses to pay their energy bills; and
  • Incentives for business investment, among other supports.

Economic support packages totalling $1 billion or more have been announced in New South WalesSouth Australia, Victoria and Western Australia. These packages include support for businesses to retain employees and sustain business, including payroll tax breaks, grants, and no-interest loans.

The ACT, Northern Territory, Queensland, and Tasmania have also announced significant supports.

Importantly, the Commonwealth Government has released a JobKeeper FAQ document, last updated Sunday 5 April 2020, that further explains the parameters of the program.

To learn more, click here.

We will continue to monitor the economic support packages for business announced by state and federal governments. And as new packages are announced we will continue to send member alerts and keep this page up to date.

Decarbonisation Futures with Anna Skarbek

ClimateWorks Australia has released a groundbreaking new report – Decarbonisation Futures – that sets out how Australia can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

All eight state and territory governments, and many leading businesses, have either set targets or aspirations to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050. ClimateWorks has found that Australia can achieve net zero emissions before 2050 through a mixture of largely mature technologies in electricity generation and buildings, and mature and emerging technologies in transport, industry and agriculture.


In electricity generation, the modeling in the report suggests that around 75 per cent of generation could be renewable by 2030, reaching 100 per cent renewable generation well before 2050. The report suggests that demand management and storage will be critical to ensure that a renewable electricity network is affordable and reliable.


In buildings, a combination of largely mature energy efficiency technologies and electrification are the main sources of abatement. ClimateWorks notes that the maturity and affordability of many energy efficient technologies has improved rapidly, such as the cost of LED lighting dropping 80 per cent over the last five years. In homes, energy efficiency improvements could reduce the energy used per household by 44 to 49 per cent by 2030, and by up to 60 per cent by 2050. In commercial buildings, energy efficiency could reduce energy use per m2 by 16 to 28 per cent by 2030 and around 50 per cent by 2050. ClimateWorks also expects that most buildings will be electrified by 2040.


In industry, the report notes a range of mature and emerging technologies, including the use of heat pumps for low temperature processes. The modeling suggests that energy used in manufacturing and other industry could drop by 45 per cent between 2020 and 2050. However, there is a range of non-energy emissions from processes such as cement production that will require more effort to abate.

Agriculture and transport

Mature energy efficiency technologies will also play a key role in decarbonising transport and agriculture. However, like industry, deep decarbonisation of these sectors will require developments in new technologies.

It’s a long and thorough report that is well-worth reading in its entirety. However, if you are short on time we would particularly encourage people to read the modelling sections on:

  • Electricity - pages 86-89;
  • Buildings - pages 90-93;
  • Transport - pages 94-10;
  • Industry - pages 102-111; and
  • Agriculture - pages 112-116.

Webinar: Decarbonisation Futures with Anna Skarbek - Thursday 30 April, 2.30pm - 3.30pm AEST

If you're eager to learn more about Decarbonisation Futures and the work of ClimateWorks Australia, on Thursday 30 April from 2.30pm - 3.30pm AEST, Energy Efficiency Council CEO Luke Menzel will hold conversation with Anna Skarbek, CEO of ClimateWorks Australia.

They'll discuss the main takeaways from Decarbonisation Futures, demand side opportunities, and activities that can be picked up to drive the economic rebound on other side of the current COVID-19 crisis.

Please register for this complimentary webinar here.

Decarbonisation Futures: solutions, actions and benchmarks for a net zero emissions Australia

Read the full report
Read the media release
Download the briefing slide pack

Why virtual comms in the energy sector is not only possible, it's necessary

Liz Fletcher

Before we entered a world of lockdowns and quarantines, our energy sector was trying to recover after the bushfires and get ready for change. COAG Energy Council walked out of the March meeting with a laundry list of actions.  We're navigating a transition from a series of big generators who predictably deliver to customers, to a world where every house, car, office and person is both a source and user of energy. And if you thought that was tough - add in the immediate challenge of recovering from the bushfires and preparing for next summer. 

However, the news of COVID-19 saw many energy organisations halt their stakeholder activities. But we can’t just wait for this to all blow over and we don’t need to. 

I’m not sure about you, but the constant stream of news has had me oscillating between sheer determination and utter desperation. The news of these programs being paused made it even worse.

In one of those moments of determination, last week I ran an online event as part of the etc, with experts from across the virtual comms spectrum. And I came to the conclusion (as the title hints) this is not only possible, it's necessary.  

By embracing the virtual world, we will find new audiences, fresh eyes and probably most importantly - help us all get through this. 


News websites, podcasts, video on demand services and more have seen enormous spikes in demand as audiences look for ways to fill their days. People are stuck behind a laptop in a spare bedroom and are building new habits for collaboration. Check out the boom of COVID-19 memes if you have any hesitations. 

The energy sector has always struggled to bring new people into our world. But being conscious of this can mean virtual comms are a true leveller. It can deliver more inclusive solutions as can be seen by recent work in translating medical updates and how the CDC is proactively working with homeless communities. 

For whatever reason, the energy sector has stuck to traditional channels but now its time to shift to virtual - and not just because we have to. Virtual technology provides a platform for low cost, data driven, democratic engagement. We can tap into people's time because they now have it. Whether you are training, engaging or promoting, people now have time to get involved and we have tools to find them. 


Late last year the Energy Security Board hosted academics from around the world at a conference on the future of energy markets. One senior Australian energy regulator made the comment - 

"We are trying to design a market for participants that aren't even in the room." 

Don't get me wrong, the way the energy sector works with stakeholders is improving. Initiatives like The Energy Charter show that customers are now being heard. However, the rise of new (very successful) businesses shows that there's more to come and the system needs to be willing to embrace it. Now that we're forced to redesign how we work together, we can reframe how we bring voices together to embrace event more voices. 

Going virtual eradicates barriers of distance and time. These times breed innovation. Breweries are making sanitiser and Dyson is making ventilators. The challenge was set and opened up to those who wanted to rise to it- virtually.


Humans need to communicate and interact. We also need direction. Luke Menzel wrote last week about the ramifications of the pandemic on our mental health. Our energy community is a small world. Before social distancing, we would bump into people at events and get the chance to catch up. Now we don’t have that, we’re at risk of losing some we’ve spent years creating. Half of the solution is the technology and that's not too hard. LinkedIn, Slack, Teams create space for communities. House PartyFacetimeWhatsApp mean you can communicate more than ever. MiroMural and StormBoard shift all those sticky notes onto your screen. 

The other half is how we do it. The transactional nature of virtual platforms can remove humanity if you aren’t purposeful. When transitioning to virtual comms, the key is understanding what you are trying to achieve. From information sharing or networking through to consultation, match the need with the technology and the intent with a sense of purpose. 

Tomorrow’s challenges can't be navigated with yesterday's communication strategies and now we're forced to do it differently, there may be even more opportunities

Engevity has developed a new model that accounts for the who, what, why and when’s of virtual comms. We want to help energy get into the virtual world as soon as possible. 

So if you’re sitting behind your laptop in your spare room, trying to figure this out - reach out and let’s grab a virtual coffee. 

Happy to connect you to someone in the etc network, work on a project together or loop you in on the latest work from the EEC.

It would be great to connect. Virtually.


Liz Fletcher is Associate Director at Engevity; Co-founder of the etc.; and Board member - Marketing and Communications Expert at the Energy Efficiency Council. This article originally appeared as a post on Liz Fletcher's LinkedIn account. 

Training update: transition to online delivery

The Energy Efficiency Council is nothing if not nimble, and we have swiftly transitioned our face-to-face training courses online. Last week, our first cohort of 15 eager learners successfully undertook online professional development in Capturing the Value of Demand Response over two half-days.

An advantage of online delivery is that we're able to loop in international experts. In Capturing the Value of Demand Response last week, the cohort was joined by subject matter experts from California, who spoke to their experience in demand response in the California market, and how the lessons learned in California could present opportunities in Australia. In addition, the Council's Head of Policy, Rob Murray-Leach, joined the class to provide a timely update on the impact of the upcoming Wholesale Demand Response Mechanism.

Additionally, online classrooms remove the geographical limitations of face-to-face delivery, offering people from Brisbane to Broome and Hobart the opportunity to join the class.

We're holding additional online training sessions for Capturing the Value of Demand Response and Energy auditing to the Australian Standard before the end of the financial year, as well as holding Australia's first Certified Measurement and Verification Professional (CMVP) accreditation online training in May.

Capturing the Value of Demand Response

Dates: Tuesday 12 - Wednesday 13 May 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: 1.4 credits towards CMVP accreditation

Click here for more information and to register

Certified Measurement & Verification Professional (CMVP)

Dates: Monday 18 - Thursday 21 May 2020
Times: 10am - 12.30pm AEST and 1.30pm - 4pm AEST (each day) + a 4-hour exam, which will be individually scheduled and proctored

Full registration (training and exam) standard fee: $3,950 inc. GST
Full registration (training and exam) EEC/EVO member fee: $3,160 inc. GST 

Trainer: Bruce Rowse
Videoconference: Zoom
Participants: 15 class members (max)

Click here for more information and to register

Energy Auditing to the Australian Standard 3598

Dates: Tuesday 16 - Wednesday 17 June 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 towards CMVP accreditation

Click here for more information and to register


See our training page for more information and dates for online training sessions.

Efficiency Leaders with Paul Lang from Schneider Electric

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.

We kick off this month with Paul Lang from Schneider Electric. Paul was elected to the Energy Efficiency Council Board in November 2019.

What is your current role?

Business Development Manager for Efficiency and Demand Solutions at Schneider Electric.

What did you do prior to your current role?

I’ve worked in a variety of energy efficiency roles over the past 20 years, including in the Energy Services divisions of Origin Energy and AGL delivering energy efficiency solutions for customers. I also spent 8 ½ years on the energy user side at Coles Supermarket delivering their energy efficiency program.

What is Schneider Electric’s role in the energy management market and Australia’s energy transition?

My division, Energy and Sustainability Services (ESS), works with some of Australia’s largest energy users to help them procure energy smarter, manage their energy usage through smart data platforms and implement energy efficiency measures. Our customers are part of Australia’s energy transition and we help them with energy data, energy efficiency, renewable energy options including on-site generation and Power Purchase Agreements.     

Schneider Electric offers a large range of services and products including Residential and Small Business, Building and Industrial Automation and Control, Low and Medium Voltage Products and Grid Automation. Some of the products we offer include Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers, Building Management Systems (BMS), circuit breakers, switch gear, transformers and a micro-grid offering.

What do you enjoy about working for Schneider?

Schneider Electric is the first multinational, global company I have worked for, so I love that we are helping so many people and companies all over the globe with their energy needs as the whole world moves with an energy transition. We get a global view on the energy market and get to learn from talented individuals all over the world. We have great leadership from our CEO down to individual managers, and the culture of the team is great; I’m actually missing not being with the team in the office at the moment.  

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

We have moved to using Microsoft Teams recently and I find this a very good platform; sound and vision are stable and it’s great to turn on your camera and see your team. We use the chat function as well and share what we are doing for the day and try to add a few personal touches as well to keep us all amused.

We are continuing to hold our monthly ESS Town Hall’s, we have just moved these to Microsoft Teams as well. As a personal way of staying in touch with those that aren’t in my direct team, I just pick up the phone and call a few people a week to check in and say hello. I think it’s important to maintain the connections.

How do you champion energy efficiency in your own home?

I’ve always been interested in energy efficiency in homes and I have done all the obvious things like changing all the light bulbs to CFL’s or LED’s, draught-proofing a number of window and doors and fitted heavy external canvas blinds to the west facing windows; these make a huge difference in summer.

From a behavioural perspective as a family I’m pretty lucky, as my wife and kids have always known me working in energy efficiency, so they get it. We make conscious decisions to dress correctly in both summer and winter to minimise the use of heating and cooling, although the Melbourne winters can get cold. We wash our clothes in cold water and dry the clothes on the clothesline in summer, autumn and spring and in front of the heater in winter. I must admit I do turn a few lights off from time to time that shouldn’t be on!

What are you currently excited about in the energy world?

I’m excited that a lot of companies and government organisations are setting carbon neutral goals or Science Based Targets (SBTs) that will lead them to invest in energy efficiency and productivity to reduce their energy wastage first before then looking into renewable energy and PPAs. I’m also excited about the push to provide infrastructure in the Electric Vehicle sector worldwide to help that market get more EVs on the roads.

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

To use the Energy Efficiency Council’s own words, a lot of us in the energy efficiency sector really see the next decade as the critical decade for energy efficiency in the energy transition, making energy work. So I’ll be extremely optimistic, not just for our own industry, but for the futures of our children and grandchildren and our planet, and say that by 2030 we will have really moved in the energy transition in that decade and made energy efficiency a part of what all industries and companies do and just implement energy efficiency in all that they do.

Companies will have stopped looking at short term simple paybacks and will have invested in saving the wasted energy. And those with 2025, 2030, 2040 and 2050 targets are progressing towards those targets. Renewable energy, demand response and micro-grids will also be very important to the energy market in 2030 and companies will have invested heavily in that space as well. Technology and data and extracting value from that data will be very important.     

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

Schneider Electric was one of the founding members of the Council over 10 years ago, and it is an extremely important membership for us; we have always contributed as part of the Board during that time as well.

The Energy Efficiency Council has worked hard to earn a great reputation in the energy industry over the past 10 years and become a respected voice and participant in the energy transition. Energy efficiency is an important plank of the energy transition, so the work the Council does to promote the sector is very important.

Efficiency Insight - March 2020

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

CEO welcome

Four weeks ago in my introduction to the first edition of Efficiency Insight for 2020, I reflected on the aftermath of the bushfire catastrophe, and how it had thrown our political landscape into flux.Just a month later and Australia, along with the rest of the world, is gripped by another escalating crisis which poses an even greater threat to lives and wellbeing.

COVID-19 is affecting us all. Like may other businesses, all Energy Efficiency Council staff are working from home. And working hard: we have rolled up our sleeves, rapidly reshaping our operations so we can play the most constructive role possible in the broader community response to this new emergency.

Yesterday we sent members the first in a series of rolling updates on government assistance for businesses doing it tough as a part of the economic downturn. Our policy focus will shift to ensure the energy management and energy efficiency sector has the support it needs to weather this crisis. Our National Energy Efficiency Conference has been deferred to late 2020, so we are looking at how we can use digital platforms to keep our network connected over coming months. And we’re reviewing all our training with a view to taking it online so we can continue to support the professional development of everyone working in our sector.

We’re a very small part of a much broader effort. But if you have ideas for how the EEC can a constructive role over the coming months, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Kind regards,

Luke Menzel
Chief Executive Officer
Energy Efficiency Council

Follow Luke on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn.


Coronavirus throws political and economic landscape into flux

Policy update from Rob Murray-Leach, Head of Policy at the Energy Efficiency Council

National Energy Efficiency Conference & Awards 2020

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Coronavirus throws political and economic landscape into flux

Rob Murray-Leach

Australia’s political landscape is in flux due to the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). There has been a rapid increase in the number of confirmed cases in Australia since 11 March and the political, corporate and community responses to COVID-19 are changing rapidly.

The World Health Organisation have made it clear that slowing the rate of transmission is vital to minimise the number of people who have COVID-19 at any one time. Reducing the number of coincident infections is important to ensure that our health system can support everyone that needs assistance. This approach is known as ‘flattening the curve’.

Accordingly, the Australian Government has imposed a 14 day quarantine period on anyone arrive from overseas and has banned non-essential gatherings of over 100 people. Many organisations, including the EEC, have gone further and chosen to reduce non-essential face-to-face meetings. Many COVID-19 policies, including the EEC’s, are partly aimed reducing the risk of staff contracting the disease, and partly about reducing the speed of transmission in the community. 

However, the EEC and other businesses will continue to operate. Governments have started to roll out policies that aim to both encourage ‘social distancing’ (i.e. keeping people a reasonable distance apart) and keep the economy running. However certain sectors will be particularly impacted, and over the last week the Council has begun analysing how COVID-19 might affect carbon emissions and the energy and energy management sectors.

Global air travel dropped by 4.3 per cent in February. Qantas announced that it would cut its international flights by 90 per cent and domestic flights by 60 per cent. Some of this reduction will be temporary, but it’s entirely possible that COVID-19 could lead to some permanent changes in work practices. Some of these changes are overdue - in 2011 I participated in a high-quality telepresence event run by The Economist magazine, and I expect we’ll see further investment in video conferencing systems over the coming months.

The significant reduction in air traffic has delivered reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. However, it’s not the only factor driving down emissions, and some energy-intensive factories in China have significantly reduced their output. Carbon Brief estimates that COVID-19 has reduced China’s emissions over four weeks by around a quarter, although the scale of this reduction is likely to be temporary.

COVID-19 has also impacted on energy markets. International oil prices have dropped significantly in the last fortnight, and the price of natural gas has dropped in several countries. COVID-19 could result in Australian businesses energy demand decreasing and residential energy demand increasing, although the extent and duration of this impact is completely unknown.

The EEC is rapidly engaging with its Board and members to assess the likely impacts of COVID-19 on markets for energy management services and products. We anticipate that there will be some delays in securing stock, particularly from overseas. There will also likely be a general reduction in household and business investment, and self-distancing and quarantines could restrict access to buildings to deliver energy efficiency upgrades.

However, the impact of COVID-19 on the energy management sector, as with the economy at large, will be strongly affected by governments’ policy decisions. EEC members will have received our summary of stimulus measures and their impacts on markets for energy efficiency services and products. As the peak body for Australia’s energy management sector, we will continue to monitor the situation and provide members and the broader community with guidance as the situation evolves.

We will also be carefully considering how to engage with Government on the policy front over the coming year. We need to continue to represent our member’s interests, progress the importants strategic conversations around climate and energy that are so important for Australia’s future prosperity. However we are entering a period where managing a national crisis will be of paramount importance for governments around the country. We’ll be engaging closely with members and partners over coming days and weeks to ensure we get the balance right.

Policy update from Rob Murray-Leach, Head of Policy at the Energy Efficiency Council

Rob Murray-Leach

See below for our general policy roundup. As always, the EEC’s members will receive a separate, member-only newsletter later in the month that includes more extensive analysis on crucial, topical policy issues.

Net zero news from NSW

We had anticipated that governments would reduce their focus on climate change and energy in the short-term due to COVID-19. So far, this has not been the case. As we notified members, on Saturday the NSW Government announced its long awaited 2030 climate target along with its Net Zero Plan Stage 1: 2020–2030.

The target, reducing statewide emissions by 35% by 2030, is significantly higher than the Federal Government’s 26-28% emissions reduction target. The Plan sets out the actions the NSW Government will take to achieve its target, and is underpinned by the recent $2 billion dollar MOU between NSW and the Commonwealth.

Like most policy frameworks, there is a lot of detail to flesh out. However both the target and the Plan provide a lot of scope for energy efficiency, energy management and demand response to play a central role in driving NSW’s transition over the next decade.

Commonwealth considers emissions play, and invests in the RACE for 2030

The Australian Government has indicated that it will start to announce parts of its Technology Roadmap and its review of the Emissions Reduction Fund, although this may be delayed.

Angus Taylor has stated that "Our [climate change] strategy will be based on a series of detailed pieces of work that we will complete over the rest of this year.” This means that the government’s climate change strategy might not be a single document, but a series of reports, potentially including the forthcoming Electric Vehicle Strategy and review of the National Energy Efficiency Productivity Plan.

Taylor also stated that he would be looking for private investment in emissions reduction to match and significantly exceed government investment. One clear example of this has just been announced – a new Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) called the Reliable Affordable Clean Energy for 2030 CRC (RACE for 2030).

The RACE for 2030 CRC will bring industry and research institutions together for its mission to deliver High-impact research on boosting energy productivity and integrating clean, distributed energy into the grid, in order to cut bills and carbon emissions of Australian businesses and households.”

The Federal Government will provide the RACE for 2030 CRC with $68.5 million over ten years, which will leverage $87.1 million in cash and $193.5 million of in-kind contributions from 91 partners, including the Australian Alliance for Energy Productivity, the Energy Efficiency Council and several of its members. The CRC’s research partners include the University of Technology Sydney, CSIRO, Monash University, Curtain University, Griffith University, QUT, RMIT University and the University of South Australia.

The CRC will be led by its Chair designate, Lousie Sylvan, and interim CEO, Jon Jutsen. The CRC could play a decisive role improving energy efficiency in Australia, and we look forward to further announcements from the CRC over the coming months. For more information on RACE visit

Wholesale demand response back on the cards

Energy market bodies have also delivered significant policy developments. As we advised members earlier this week, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has recently released its revised Draft Determination for a Wholesale Demand Response Mechanism.

If this is implemented it will provide another route to reward large energy users if they reduce their demand for electricity during periods when wholesale electricity prices are high.

Banks and networks move ahead of the curve?

Two of the most significant announcements in recent months were actually made by a bank and a network service provider.

In banking, Bank Australia has announced a new Clean Energy Home Loan to encourage home retrofitting. Instead of a loan for the retrofit, the Clean Energy Home Loan offers households a 0.4 per cent reduction in the interest rates in their main mortgage (e.g. from 3.2 per cent to 2.8 per cent) if they buy a more efficient home or substantially retrofit their home. Households can use various rating systems to demonstrate the efficiency of their home, including NatHERS, the Victorian Residential Energy Efficiency Scorecard, GreenStar and Passive House Certification.

This type of approach is similar to the home loans supported by the KfW Bank in Germany. While there are already several attractive loans on the market in Australia that support retrofitting, households are only likely to consider them if they are already interested in retrofitting. The Clean Energy Home Loan motivates households that aren’t already thinking about sustainability to consider improving the energy efficiency of their home.

Bank Australia is by no means that only bank that is developing new products to encourage the construction and retrofit of more efficient homes, and I expect that several banks will introduce new loan products in the next years. The EEC does not endorse this particular loan, and we encourage anyone interested in sustainable financing to compare the products that are available on the market.

In energy networks, Evoenergy, the ACT’s electricity and gas distribution service provider, has released a draft plan for 2021-26 for its gas network. Pages 16-20 of the Plan set out a significant shift in direction that is worth looking at in detail.

The draft plan states that decarbonising the ACT’s gas system could involve three options – full electrification of homes and businesses, transitioning the gas supply to ‘renewable gas’ (e.g. hydrogen or bio-methane) or a combination of the two. Evoenergy’s plan states it isn’t yet clear which option is the best, and therefore proposes to minimise further investments that could become sunk – specifically it won’t expand the gas network to new suburbs. This lines up with the ACT Government’s recent decision to remove the mandate that all new suburbs in the ACT needed to be connected to the gas network.

Evoenergy’s strategy is strongly influenced by the ACT Government’s statements around transitioning away from gas, and this context doesn’t apply in other states and territories. However, I think that Evoenergy’s draft strategy still has national ramifications, in part because they have clearly articulated a sound point - there are prospects for gas networks to carry zero-emissions fuel, but the potential costs and benefits are still unclear compared to all-electric homes.

Households can now install high-quality appliances for cooking (induction stoves), water heating and space heating and cooling (heat-pumps). Renew released this excellent report in 2018 that concluded that it is cheaper to build an all-electric home than a dual-fuel home (electricity and gas). For existing homes, the cost-effectiveness of switching to an all electric home depends on how many appliances need replacing, but this equation will change as the price of various appliances and fuels change.

This issue has significant implications for energy management, as all-electric homes have the potential to both be more energy-efficient than dual-fuel homes, and will place greater demands on the electricity system. For the moment, it seems likely that more and more developers will build all-electric homes, especially apartments. In this context, gas networks should all be considering whether they adopt Evoenergy’s approach.

National Energy Efficiency Conference 2020 Deferred

Luke Menzel

The Energy Efficiency Council is postponing the the National Energy Efficiency Conference 2020 to minimise the potential for transmission of COVID-19 and ensure that we deliver the highest quality event possible. 

We did not make this decision lightly. The Conference plays an important role in Australia’s energy sector, forging links between industry, government and experts, and progressing debates on critical energy management issues. However, after careful consideration, we have concluded that a delay until later in the year is in the best interests of attendees, speakers and the broader community.

Conference to be rescheduled for second half of 2020 

The Conference was scheduled to take place in Melbourne on 26 and 27 May 2020. We are working with our partners to determine a revised date for the Conference in the second half of 2020; I’ll be in touch with an announcement on that front very soon. In the meantime, we will be reopening ‘early bird’ Conference tickets.

I want to thank our Conference sponsors and partners for their incredible support as we have worked through this process. Your commitment is deeply appreciated, and helps us manage the challenges of shifting an event of this magnitude at short notice.

National Energy Efficiency Awards

The Awards ceremony for the National Energy Efficiency Awards has also been deferred from May to the second half of 2020. As a result, the deadline for Awards submissions has been extended to June 30, 2020. Everyone that has previously submitted nominations will also have the opportunity to update their  nomination prior to June 30.

A new date for the Awards ceremony will be announced soon.

Broader response to COVID-19

Like organisations across the country, we are monitoring health advice closely and putting sensible risk management measures in place for our staff and all our public facing activities.

At this stage we are proceeding with smaller events such as training. However, a full credit (for use at future Council training or events) will be provided to any person unable to attend as a result of feeling unwell and needing to self-isolate in accordance with the latest public health guidelines.

As an organisation we have a particular focus on energy and carbon issues, however those conversations don't happen in a vacuum. The immediate task for Australian families and businesses is to navigate the dual challenges – bushfires and pandemic – that have marked the start of this year. Our thoughts are with the victims of both crises, and we’ll be doing what we can to support the broader community effort to ensure we all emerge on the other side stronger than ever.







Efficiency Insight - February 2020

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

CEO welcome

At the Energy Efficiency Council's tenth anniversary celebration in June last year, I reflected on the state of play.

We were on the edge of the 2020s, the 'critical decade' in which we have the opportunity to secure our economic prosperity and begin dealing with the climate challenge by moving decisively towards a twenty-first century energy system.

We are no longer on the cusp of the critical decade; we are in thick of it. And the ferocious summer that has ripped through so much of our landscape has thrown the task before us into stark relief.

No one industry or profession has all the answers. But if you are receiving this email you probably have an interest in energy efficiency, energy management and demand response. So you know that the demand side has a crucial role to play, here in Australia and around the world, in taking unnecessary load off the system, in effectively managing the shift to renewables, and in lowering the costs of the transition to net zero emissions.

At the Energy Efficiency Council we have started 2020 with a strong sense of purpose, to ensure that those answers that we do have are elevated, and acted on.

But we know we can't do that alone. Which is why I'm proud to introduce you to the Council's first nine official NGO Partners.

We have collaborated with most of the organisations below for years. We've now formalised these relationships, providing a solid foundation for ramping up joint efforts aimed at putting smart energy management at the heart of Australia's energy transition.

It's going to be a big year. We look forward to working with you to ensure it is also a pivotal one.

Kind regards,

Luke Menzel
Chief Executive Officer
Energy Efficiency Council

Follow Luke on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn.


Energy Efficiency Council NGO Partners

Expert view: demand-side supports the grid during bushfire emergency

Policy update from Rob Murray-Leach, Head of Policy at the Energy Efficiency Council

Energy efficiency was a popular theme at the World Economic Forum

National Energy Efficiency Conference 2020

Apply now for the National Energy Efficiency Awards 2020

Capturing the value of demand response and more professional development opportunities

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

Energy Efficiency Council NGO Partners

“Effectively, change is almost impossible without industry-wide collaboration, cooperation and consensus.”

Simon Mainwaring, CEO of We First

In other words, partnerships are key to success. This couldn’t hold more true when it comes to successfully navigating Australia’s energy transition. It is for this reason that we are bolstering the Council’s relationship with key industry, consumer and environmental groups that support our vision of building a sophisticated market for energy management products and services that delivers:

  • Healthy and comfortable buildings;
  • Productive and competitive businesses; and
  • An affordable, reliable and sustainable energy system for Australia.

In particular, the Council’s new strategy outlines the importance of industry and community coming together to achieve these goals. And consequently, our NGO Partner membership is designed to deepen the partnership between our organisation and other leading Australian non-governmental organisations. This enables us all to leverage our collective expertise and drive outcomes that are in Australia’s economic, environmental and social interests.

And on that note, we’d like to formally welcome the following organisations as NGO Partners of the Energy Efficiency Council:

The Energy Efficiency Council has been working with all of these organisations on advocacy and sector development for quite some time. Formalising the partnerships that already exist puts us in the best possible position to ensure our advocacy agendas are aligned and our communications strategies are cutting through.

This will enable us to realise the Energy Efficiency Council’s vision, and those of our partners, not just for the benefit of the energy management industry and our members, but for the benefit of all Australian households, businesses and communities.

With time we will build this coalition to include more allied organisations, so if you’d like to know more about the Council’s NGO Partnership initiative, please contact Holly Taylor, Senior Manager, Projects and Partnerships on

Expert view: demand-side supports the grid during bushfire emergency

By Rando Yam and Zac Hardie

In Australia’s current climate of extreme weather and bushfires, businesses participating in demand response are playing an important role in maintaining system security and stability for all energy users. Demand response can also provide a quicker and cheaper alternative to new generation. 

Businesses suited to demand response programs range from agribusiness to hospitals, water corporations, retail shopping centres, data centres, industrial manufacturing and more.  

Businesses participate via a third-party aggregator who supplies their combined energy load to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) when called on in response to a grid need. 

There have been multiple, significant grid requirements from December 2019 to February 2020.

New to demand response? Read the Energy Efficiency Council's demand response 101 that Enel X helped to develop. 

A perfect storm 

From Thursday 30 January to Saturday 1 February, AEMO called on two types of demand response - in both emergency and ancillary services via its Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader (RERT) program and Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) - to support the grid each day. The cause was a combination of extreme weather and fragility of the transmission lines and network supply assets - particularly after bushfires, heat, smoke and damaging winds and storms.

In particular, on Friday 31 January, storms damaged six transmission towers in western Victoria, causing a trip to the main interconnector transmission line between Victoria and South Australia. This caused the grid’s frequency to drop. FCAS providers were called on by AEMO to immediately stabilise the frequency and avoid widespread blackouts. 

That same day, large parts of Victoria and New South Wales, which were already facing bushfire conditions, also experienced extreme temperatures that caused price spikes during the late afternoon and evening peak demand period. 

Over these three days commercial and industrial businesses also powered down for up to four hours via RERT. As just one example, Enel X’s aggregated capacity provided 30 MW to the grid. This helped to reduce the length and severity of the emergency situation when the grid was under threat.

Other recent events

At the end of December 2019, there were temperatures over 30 and 40 degrees across the NEM, causing immense pressure on the grid. This was exacerbated by widespread bushfire conditions, particularly in eastern Victoria, where there was unavailability of large generating units at Loy Yang, as well as softening availability from wind and solar farms during the peak evening period.

When the main transmission line between Victoria and New South Wales tripped due to the bushfires, the result was substantial loss of supply in Victoria and AEMO issuing a ‘Lack of Reserve (LOR) level 2’ notice to the market. 

While demand response capacity was impacted by bushfire hazards, as well as operational constraints given the time of year, a significant number of sites were able to respond to AEMO’s RERT activation, by powering down as much load as possible from 6:00pm – 9:00pm on 30 December. 

On Saturday 4 January the transmission line trip caused a separation event between New South Wales and Queensland and the rest of the NEM. As a result, the grid’s frequency rapidly dropped in both states. 

Enel X participated in three FCAS events, when the grid’s frequency dropped below its normal operating band. Businesses across New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia curtailed load in response, helping to return the grid to its normal operating range. This also helps avoid generators tripping as a result of dangerously low frequency. 

Businesses playing a role in supporting Australia’s electricity grid

Across all events, a combination of cold storage facilities, water utilities, data centres and industrial gas processors helped to provide crucial demand response, taking some pressure off the generators who were operating at an elevated output as they struggled to meet demand. 

We expect that additional demand response events will take place before the summer is over, particularly with the transmission tower damage in Victoria, which will take several weeks to repair.

About Enel X

Enel X is an energy management company dedicated to accelerating the renewable energy transformation, and is the only independent aggregator providing demand response and power flexibility services to commercial and industrial businesses (C&I) in Australia. 

Click here to learn more about how Enel X is supporting system security and reliability this summer.

Rando Yam is Manager, Flexibility Operations & Zach Hardie is Program Manager, Flexibility Operations at Enel X Australia & New Zealand. Rando can be reached at and Zac can be reached at

Are you an Industry Leader or Corporate member of the Energy Efficiency Council with a view on an energy management hot topic? Contact us at to discuss penning an op-ed for an upcoming edition of Efficiency Insight.

Policy update from Rob Murray-Leach, Head of Policy at the Energy Efficiency Council

Australia’s summer of drought, bushfires and floods has had a profound impact on the political debate in Australia. It’s hard to predict exactly how the political conversation will evolve, or how long memories will last. However, there is now significant pressure on Australian governments – state and federal – to ramp up ambition on climate change.

Of course, energy efficiency has multiple benefits. It can deliver 40 per cent of the greenhouse gas emissions reductions Australia needs to meet its 2030 target. Energy efficiency also makes sense on purely financial grounds, especially with gas and electricity prices rising dramatically over the last decade. Further, making our buildings more energy efficient will help protect Australians during the heatwaves that will become more common in a warmer climate.

In this first edition of Efficiency Insight for 2020, I provide a recap of the current state of policy in some key areas, offering a view on where things may be going over the coming year, and conclude with how you can get involved with shaping the debate.


Minimum standards for new commercial buildings will become about 40 per cent stronger this year, as the energy efficiency provisions of the 2019 National Construction Code come into force.

The energy efficiency of Australia’s new and existing offices has been improving rapidly – in offices that have NABERS ratings, the average energy used per square meter declined by 43 per cent between FY2011 and FY2019. However, the energy efficiency of other types of existing commercial buildings, including hotels, shopping centres and smaller offices, is lagging a long way behind.

Unfortunately, the energy efficiency of Australia’s homes is very poor by global standards. In most parts of the country, new homes are built to at least 6-star NatHERS efficiency, but existing homes are worse – one sample of existing Victorian homes built before 2003 found that they had an average NatHERS rating of 1.8 stars.

And the situation is even more dire for rental properties, which are often in very poor condition. The low quality of our housing stock contributes to the estimated 3,000 deaths each year in Australia that are caused by hot and cold weather.

However, the tide appears to be turning. In February 2019, the COAG Energy Council agreed to a Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings, which set out a broad framework to improve the energy efficiency of Australia’s new and existing buildings. In December 2019, the COAG Energy Council also agreed to an Addendum to the Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings, which set out a detailed national work plan to improve the efficiency of existing buildings.

Important areas of policy work in the next year include:

  • Significantly updating minimum standards for new residential buildings and tweaking the standards for new commercial buildings. The overall design of standards is likely to be determined in the next 6-12 months, although the National Construction Code won’t be updated until 2022;
  • Designing minimum energy efficiency standards for residential rental properties in Victoria and the ACT;
  • Further work on the development of energy efficiency ratings for homes, which would ideally become mandatory when homes are sold and leased; and
  • Expansion of the Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) program for commercial buildings. While the Australian Government has yet to announce a decision on whether it will expand the CBD program, the Draft Report by the independent reviewers recommended expanding the program to some hotels and office tenancies.

Business energy management

Governments are starting to pay more attention to improving the energy management of businesses, including manufacturing, resources and agriculture.

The NSW Government is rolling out support to help businesses improve their energy management, and we expect that the Government will start to share some of the results from this program in coming months.

The Victorian Government is also considering how to encourage large energy users to adopt energy management systems (EnMS), potentially by exempting companies that have EnMS from certain requirements.

In the meantime, the Energy Efficiency Council is continuing to drive the conversation, with fresh editions of our energy briefing for business, and ‘sector spotlights’ on energy management issues for manufacturing and agribusiness, coming up in 2020.

Energy efficiency schemes

Four state and territory governments require energy retailers to help consumers save energy using ‘energy efficiency schemes’ – NSW, Victoria, South Australia and the ACT. These schemes are delivering major savings to consumers, and so these four governments are considering or have committed to expansions of their energy efficiency schemes.

A couple of very significant issues are currently being considered as part of scheme reviews:

  • The speed that these schemes move away from their current focus on improving the energy efficiency of lighting; and
  • How these schemes can support reductions in peak demand and improve the flexibility of energy demand.

Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory still haven’t introduced energy efficiency schemes, a failure that is costing their residents and businesses hundreds of millions of dollars in wasted energy.

Energy markets

This summer seriously challenged Australia’s energy system. Savvy programs to save energy, particularly reducing demand during heatwaves, played a critical role in keeping the lights on. However, far more needs to be done.

In December the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) decided to delay finalising the mechanism that will reward consumers if they reduce their energy demand during high-price periods, the ‘Wholesale Demand Response Mechanism’. We now anticipate that the AEMC will make a decision on the demand response mechanism in the middle of 2020. However, this will just be the start of a more comprehensive move towards a ‘two-sided’ energy market.

Help change the debate

Across all these areas we are seeing a growing appetite for policy change, but it is critical that new policy is well-designed and based on the latest research.

To support this, over the next several months the Energy Efficiency Council will consult with members, partners and other stakeholders on a major update to the Australian Energy Efficiency Policy Handbook.

The quality of the Handbook depends on bringing together the collective wisdom of Australia’s energy efficiency experts, and we’re keen to hear your views. If you are interested in being involved in this process, please register your interest by emailing me at

Energy efficiency was a popular theme at the World Economic Forum

At the World Economic Forum last month, climate change topped the agenda and was coined the ‘defining question of our time’ by UN Secretary General António Guterres. As 67% of primary energy is wasted due to system inefficiencies, systemic efficiency – ‘the optimisation of energy to create a net-zero carbon future’ – was discussed as a solution. The panel Creating a Carbon-Neutral Future discussed systemic change and featured Jean-Pascal Tricoire, CEO of Schneider Electric, which is an Industry Leader member of the Council.

Click here to view the 45-minute session.

The European Green Deal was also a hot topic of discussion at the WEF. Europe plans to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050 and to do so, it plans to put energy efficiency first. Energy production and use across economic sectors accounts for more than 75% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions, so halving energy demand by 2050 compared to 2005 levels will be the first step. 

National Energy Efficiency Conference 2020

The National Energy Efficiency Conference 2020 program is now available!

Click here to view the draft program.*

Taking place at the start of a critical decade for Australia’s energy transition, the Conference is a must attend event for anyone with an interest in building an affordable, reliable and sustainable energy system for Australia.

Speaker announcement 

The Council is delighted to announce Ross Garnaut as a plenary speaker at NEEC20. 

No stranger to the Australian climate space, Ross Garnaut is the recent author of Superpower: Australia's Low-Carbon Opportunity and a distinguished professor of economics. 

Ross will lead a high-profile panel on climate change science, politics and the implications for energy management policy and practice.

Click here to view the draft program.

More speakers will be announced soon so keep an eye on your inbox, as well as @EECouncil and #NEEC20 on Twitter for the latest updates.

Click the link below to view registration options and secure your early bird tickets now. Earlybird rates won’t hang around for long, so book now!

*Please note that the program is subject to change. 

The Energy Efficiency Council extends warm thanks to the following sponsors of the National Energy Efficiency Conference & Awards 2020, whose support and vision makes the event possible: 

Major Partner

 Gold Sponsors


Silver Sponsor

Apply now for the National Energy Efficiency Awards 2020

Pesented by the Energy Efficiency Council, and now in its eighth year, the National Energy Efficiency Awards are Australia's highest profile honours dedicated to excellence in energy efficiency.

The National Energy Efficiency Awards are a fantastic opportunity to be recognised for your efforts and celebrate your commitment to energy efficiency.

We invite individuals and organisations to nominate their projects for one of 11 award categories that demonstrate outstanding achievement in performance, leadership and innovation.

Nominations are now open for the following award categories:

  • Best Commercial Building Energy Efficiency Project
  • Best Agricultural Energy Efficiency Project, prroudly sponsored by Queensland Farmers' Federation
  • Best Industrial Energy Efficiency Project
  • Best Residential Energy Efficiency Project, presented in partnership with Renew
  • Best Small Medium Enterprise (SME) Energy Efficiency Project, presented in partnership with the Australian Energy Foundation
  • Best ‘Smart Energy’ Project, for cogeneration, district energy, demand response and utility programs
  • Best Innovation in Energy Efficiency
  • Best Energy Saving Program
  • Leading Energy User, presented in partnership with the Energy Users Association of Australia
  • Young Energy Efficiency Professional 2020, for a leading individual under 35 who has contributed to energy efficiency through advocacy, research, education or projects
  • Energy Efficiency Champion 2020, for a leading individual who has advanced the energy efficiency sector through outstanding advocacy, research, education or projects

Nominations from the Commercial Building, Agricultural, Industrial, Residential and Energy User categories will also be invited to nominate their project for consideration in the:

  • Integrated Clean Energy Award, proudly sponsored by ARENA


The winners of the National Energy Efficiency Awards 2020 will be announced at the National Energy Efficiency Conference Gala Dinner on Tuesday 26 May 2020 at the Pullman on the Park in Melbourne, Victoria.

Nominations close at 5pm on Monday 16 March 2020

Need inspiration? Click here to learn about previous winners that were recognised for their efforts in energy efficiency.

If you have any further questions regarding the National Energy Efficiency Awards, please feel free to contact the Energy Efficiency Council by email at or on 03 9069 6588.

For further updates follow the Energy Efficiency Council and #NEEC20 on Twitter, or connect on LinkedIn.

Capturing the value of demand response and more professional development opportunities

As we enter a new decade of Australia's energy transition, training and professional development in the energy management sector have never been more important.

With that in mind, we'd like to highlight that we've updated the Energy Efficiency Council's training and professional development calendar for 2020:

Energy Efficiency Council member and group discounts are available.

For more information, click here.

Upcoming training on Capturing the value of demand response

Tuesday 31 March 2020, Sydney

Demand response enables energy users to manage costs behind the meter, while also being an increasingly important tool for improving the affordability and reliability of Australia’s electricity system. And as Australia’s energy market transforms, the ability of energy users to rapidly adjust their energy use to adapt to changes in the energy system is only becoming more valuable.

In this practical one-day masterclass, you’ll learn about the benefits of demand response for businesses and the broader energy system, different value propositions and business models for demand response, how to leverage existing and emerging technologies to facilitate demand response, and rapidly evolving opportunities to create new revenue streams for businesses by selling demand response in energy markets.

For more information and to register, click here.