The launch of the Energy Efficiency Certification Scheme followed an extensive process of design and consultation.
In 2010, Sustainability Victoria engaged the Energy Efficiency Council (EEC) to undertake a scoping study of roles in the retrofit process and to assess the need for the introduction of accreditation and standards into the industry. The resulting study, Energy Efficiency in Commercial Building, Accreditation and Skills Scoping Report, concluded that certifications and standards should play a central role in supporting the sustainable growth of capacity in the sector.
This report recognised the benefits of many existing certification programs. It also identified gaps where additional schemes could provide value. It found that the most urgent need was for a professional certification for the individuals that directly oversee and co-ordinate the entire retrofit process, and potentially a linked scheme for Energy Service Companies (ESCOs).
In 2011, the EEC was commissioned by the National Framework for Energy Efficiency to facilitate the design of a framework for such a scheme. After extensive consultation with a range of experts from industry and the broader sector, the resulting framework was detailed in the report Proposed Energy Efficiency Accreditation Scheme for Retrofit Service Providers. As well as defining the framework for accreditation, this report also comprehensively mapped the steps involved in an Integrated Building Energy Retrofit project.
In 2012 the EEC moved to finalise the design of the scheme in preparation for the scheme's launch in 2013. To ensure that the scheme met the needs of the sector as a whole, the EEC Board established an independent Steering Committee to manage the design and implementation of the Scheme. The Steering Committee is made up of experts from governments, the energy efficiency industry, the property industry and the broader sector. The Steering Committee was charged with managing the scheme's final design phase, signing off on the ultimate design, and overseeing the implementation of the scheme.
A project team based within the EEC was established to undertake the final consultation and design work. A Technical Reference Group of industry experts and other stakeholders was also convened to provide detailed technical advice on the key design elements. In addition, legal firm Baker & McKenzie were engaged to provide ongoing advice on the design of the scheme.
Benchmarking the model for the Scheme
The approach taken by the Scheme addresses the particular circumstances of the Australian energy efficiency retrofit market. However the model was arrived at after carefully reviewing the approach taken by other certification schemes in Australia and around the world. Members of the Project Team:
- Conducted interviews with a range of organisations running certification programs within Australia.
- Conducted an interview with the President of the National Association of Energy Service Companies (NAESCO) on the history of ESCO accreditation in the United States.
- Conducted interviews with one of the key designers of the United Kingdom's Energy Efficiency Accreditation Scheme.
- Travelled to Singapore to discuss the individual and company accreditations jointly operated by Singapore's National Environment Agency and Building Construction Authority.
- Travelled to New Zealand to study the individual certifications operated by the Energy Management Association of New Zealand (EMANZ).
In 2013 the EEC released a Public Consultation Paper on the detailed Scheme design, and conducted application trials to test the assessment process. After a final round of consultation and revisions, the independent Steering Committee signed off on the Scheme design in November 2013.
The EEC Board approved the launch of the Scheme, which took place at the EEC National Conference on December 4th 2013.