The Department has also released a discussion paper for New Development Regulations. Under the Securing a Clean Energy Future Package, the Australian Government announced that new developments and expansion projects would be included in the EEO program. The aim is that projects that meet an energy use threshold when operational will be required to assess the potential for energy productivity improvements from the initial design concept through to commercial operation.
The energy use threshold includes projects where:
- the new development or expansion will utilise an additional energy use of 0.5 PJ per financial year or greater
- there are multiple new developments or expansions which will each utilise an additional energy use of greater than 0.25 PJ (but less than 0.5 PJ), and cumulatively add up to more than 0.5 PJ, when developed simultaneously
- there are multiple projects (five or more) which are all the same and will each add at least 0.1PJ of energy use when operating. (DRET, 2013)
While eligible projects in the Generation, Mining, Oil and Gas, Manufacturing and Infrastructure sectors are likely to trigger for EEO under the proposed changes, projects in the Buildings and Road Transport sectors are not.
Importantly Participants that can demonstrate to have substantially met the intent of the six Key Elements of the Assessment Framework will be able to seek an exemption from an EEO assessment. A reporting obligation will remain however.
Written feedback (page 7) for all the proposed changes will be accepted until the 31st of May.