Emissions Reduction Fund Update

Latest updates

posted 3 November 2015

2015-16 Priority activities

The Minister for the Environment has determined the 2015-16 priority activities for method scoping and potential development under the Emissions Reduction Fund, following consultation with Technical Working Groups, the public and the Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee.

The priorities are determined to ensure that activities offer the greatest opportunity for uptake and genuine abatement. The prioritisation is an annual process and provides a 12 month forward work plan for method scoping and development. The sectors where activities will be scoped and their feasibility tested for potential method development in 2015-16 are listed below.


Activities for scoping include reducing emissions from fertilizer use in sugar cane production, reducing emissions from sheep flock management and soil carbon sequestration.

Energy Efficiency

Activities for scoping include coverage of community buildings; improvements to the energy efficiency of boilers, pumping systems, compressed air systems, and reducing emissions from air conditioning systems in industrial and commercial settings; and a technology-neutral energy efficiency sampling method.

Industrial Process

Scoping will include an industrial process efficiency method that would reduce Scope 1 emissions of industrial process gases.


Scoping will include a transport mode shift sub-method as an extension to the existing land and sea transport method.


Activities for scoping include savanna sequestration, abatement through avoided degradation and rehabilitation of Australian woodlands and protection and restoration of mangroves for sequestration and carbon storage.


Activities for scoping include waste to energy projects that could provide incentives to avoid or destroy emissions associated with current waste disposal practices.

The full list of priority activities is available on the Department’s website.

posted 3 November 2015

New Energy Efficiency Method for Refrigeration and Ventilation Fans

A new energy efficiency method is now available under the Emissions Reduction Fund. The Refrigeration and Ventilation Fans method supports projects that reduce electricity consumption by fans servicing refrigeration systems and commercial building ventilation systems.

To encourage participation, it uses readily available fan test data and other factors to provide simpler calculations of emissions reductions. The method covers two distinct activities:

  • installation of highly efficient fans instead of fans with market average performance that are typically installed
  • upgrading small fans with inefficient motors to run more efficiently.

Proponents who could use this method include owners, operators or tenants of commercial and industrial buildings, bodies corporate of residential apartments, local and state governments, fan manufacturers and suppliers, and other aggregators.

Refrigeration and Ventilation Fans) Methodology Determination 2015

posted 16 October 2015

Aggregation agreement education materials

The Department has produced some new materials covering the risks, benefits and obligations involved in joining an ‘aggregated’ Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) project.

Aggregated ERF projects have multiple project sites which could be owned by more than one person. There can be many benefits to participating in the ERF through an aggregated project.

  • An aggregated project is a good way to bring together smaller amounts of emissions reductions into a project that can meet the ERF auction minimum bid size (2000 tCO2-e pa on average).
  • Aggregation can be done by individual ‘aggregators’ or organisations. Aggregators can be agents, project developers or holding companies and they provide a range of services to support ERF participation.
  • When site owners aggregate, they can benefit from the technical and project management expertise of an aggregator to avoid bearing individual project costs, like audits.

Participating in an aggregated ERF project is a significant business decision. It is important to understand what is involved and have this understanding documented in an ‘aggregation agreement’.

To help participants understand the kind of considerations likely to go into developing an aggregation agreement, the Department has produced further guidance material.

posted 13 October 2015

Draft method for Source Separated Organic Waste released for public consultation

The Source Separated Organic Waste draft method has been released for public consultation. This draft method could benefit local councils, retailers, composting facilities or charities that divert organic waste from going to landfill. For example, local councils could collect food waste from households by introducing a new separate rubbish bin. The waste collected from these bins could be sent to a facility that turns the waste into compost or destroys the potent greenhouse gases in the waste by placing it in a biodigestor. Charities could collect surplus food, which would otherwise be thrown away, and distribute the food for charitable purposes.

Comments are being sought on the draft method until 3 November 2015. Information on making a submission is available from the Department of the Environment’s website.

posted 1 October 2015

Beef Cattle Herd Management Method Approved

The Emissions Reduction Fund has a new land sector method to credit emissions reductions from pasture-fed beef cattle. Crediting is based on how many emissions are cut through efficiency gains while beef production is maintained or increased.

The beef cattle herd management method gives cattle producers the flexibility to adopt new or improved practices suited to their production systems. Examples of these practices include using high-quality feed and managing the breeding herd to ensure calves are born when pasture is at its best.

The method has been developed in collaboration with representatives from industry, in particular Meat and Livestock Australia and the Australian Agricultural Company.

posted 22 September 2015

Updates to the Human-Induced Regeneration of a Permanent Even-Aged Native Forest Method

On 18 September 2015, the draft Human-Induced Regeneration of a Permanent Even-Aged Native Forest-1.1 Methodology Variation 2015 was released for public consultation for a period of 14 days. The Variation seeks to amend the

Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative-Human-Induced Regeneration of a Permanent Even-Aged Native Forest 1.1) Methodology Determination 2013.

The proposed Variation would require carbon stocks and fire emissions to be modelled using the Full Carbon Accounting Model (FullCAM) rather than the Reforestation Modelling Tool (RMT). It would also remove the modelling requirements for project eligibility, and replace them with a mandatory requirement for satellite imagery to demonstrate an absence of forest cover in each year of the baseline period.

Public comments on the Variation are welcomed until COB 2 October 2015. Further information about the Variation and how to submit any comments.

posted 11 September 2015

Safeguard Mechanism Public Consultation

The Emissions Reduction Fund has three elements: crediting, purchasing and safeguarding emissions reductions. The Department is currently seeking comment on the legislative instruments that detail the design of the third element, the safeguard mechanism.

The safeguard mechanism will ensure that emissions reductions purchased by the Government are not offset by significant increases in emissions above business-as-usual levels elsewhere in the economy.

To make a submission please visit the Emissions Reduction Fund Safeguard Mechanism.

posted 11 September 2015

Reminder: 1 Week Left to Register Projects Ahead of the Second Auction

Emissions Reduction Fund project applications received by the Clean Energy Regulator after 18 September 2015 will not be eligible to participate in the November auction.

To register a project, visit the client portal or apply to participate section of the Clean Energy Regulator website.

posted 11 September 2015

Webinar: Emissions Reduction Fund Auctions – Understanding the Basics

To prepare for the second Emissions Reduction Fund auction, the Clean Energy Regulator will host a webinar covering the basic principles of the auction and contracting process. The webinar will be held on 17 September 2015 from 1pm to 2pm. Register to participate in the webinar or visit the Clean Energy Regulator website.

posted 1 September 2015

Facilities Method released

Under the facilities method, project proponents will be able to measure emissions reductions from facilities that already report their emissions under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme (NGERS).

The method has the potential to unlock abatement from some of Australia’s largest companies, such as aluminium smelters, petrochemical refineries and power stations.

The method works by using a facility’s production data and previously reported emissions data to establish a baseline using the emissions intensity of production. Credits are issued when the facility reduces the emissions intensity of its production to be below the baseline level.

Projects registered under the facilities method will be able to receive credits for emissions reductions from eligible NGER facilities for a seven year crediting period. The method has been designed to help project developers to design more innovative projects and ensure that emissions reductions are real and additional to business as usual.

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ERF Update 2015

posted 27 August 2015

Date Set for Second Emissions Reduction Fund Auction

The Clean Energy Regulator has announced that it will hold the second Emissions Reduction Fund auction for carbon abatement contracts on 4 and 5 November 2015.

This is the second in a series of opportunities for businesses across different sections of the economy to undertake emissions reduction activities and put in a bid for their reductions into an auction. Applications for new projects that wish to enter the auction are required to be submitted in full by 18 September 2015.

The auction guidelines are available from the Clean Energy Regulator’s website.

posted 27 August 2015

New Oil and Gas Fugitives Method

The Oil and Gas Fugitives method can be applied to projects that reduce fugitive emissions from venting at oil and natural gas extraction, production, transport and processing facilities. These emissions happen when gas escapes from pressurised equipment due to leaks or other unintended releases, as well as gas that is vented as part of oil or gas process-related activities.

The method aims to reduce emissions by installing and operating equipment to capture and re-route process venting emissions or fugitive leak emissions—which would otherwise have been released to the atmosphere—to a new or existing flare device.

The method has been developed in consultation with industry experts and demonstrates the Australian Government’s commitment to expanding opportunities to reduce emissions.

posted 12 August 2015

New Soil Carbon Method

A new method that offers a lower-cost path for soil carbon projects in cropping, grazing and mixed farming systems is now available for use. The method provides landholders with default values to estimate sequestration of carbon in soil, reducing the cost of calculating abatement.

Landholders can undertake up to three different management activities aimed at increasing carbon inputs to soil or reducing the amount of carbon released from soil. For example, activities could include converting land under crops to pasture, retaining crop residue, and sustainable intensification—such as optimising fertiliser, lime, introducing irrigation, or pasture renovation.

The benefits associated with improving soil carbon levels could include higher crop yields, better pasture, reduced erosion and overall soil health.

posted 12 August 2015

Updates to National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) Scheme

People running Emissions Reduction Fund projects are being urged to familiarise themselves with the recent updates to the NGER scheme, which may affect their abatement calculations.

Many Emissions Reduction Fund methods require project proponents to use up-to-date NGER values whenever they calculate their abatement, and project proponents are reminded of the recent amendments to the NGER scheme that took effect on 1 July 2015. An important aspect of these amendments is that Global Warming Potentials (GWPs) used to convert raw gases into carbon dioxide equivalent values have been revised: the GWP for methane increases from 21 to 25, and the GWP for nitrous oxide decreases from 310 to 298. Emissions Reduction Fund project proponents are encouraged to check that they are using the most current version of NGERs.

The NGER scheme provides a number of parameters—such as emissions factors and GWPs—that are used, among other things, for the calculation and verification of emissions reduction from different activities. The NGER scheme was introduced in 2007 to provide data and accounting in relation to greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption and production, supporting international emissions reporting obligations and informing a wide range of domestic policy instruments.

posted 12 August 2015

Public Consultation on the Draft Variation to the Industrial Electricity and Fuel Efficiency Method

The Department of the Environment is inviting members of the community and industry to provide feedback on a draft variation to the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative—Industrial Electricity and Fuel Efficiency) Methodology Determination 2015 (the IEFE method).

The draft variation would ensure the IEFE method covers any projects that involve biomass derived energy in a manner that is consistent with the Renewable Energy Target Scheme. It would also add two decay coefficients to the existing seven in the method to ensure project proponents can calculate decay factors in all circumstances, including where they choose to delay the start of their crediting period. Decay factors are used in the IEFE method to reflect the decreased accuracy associated with modelled emissions levels relative to measured fuel use, as well as to reflect equipment degradation over time.

The public consultation process is open for submissions until 19 August 2015. Details of the submissions process for the draft variation are available here.

posted 12 August 2015

Amendment to Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) Legislative Rule

On 1 August 2015, the Government made the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Amendment Rule 2015 (No. 1) (amendment Rule) and the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Amendment Regulation 2015 (No. 1) (amendment Regulation).

The amendment Rule builds on the existing Rule and details minor administrative procedures required under the Emissions Reduction Fund. These include the variation of declarations and project areas, revocation of declarations, restructuring of offset projects and relinquishment requirements. The amendment Regulation ensures the Principal Regulations reflect the amended CFI Act and Rules.

Information about the amendment Rule can be found on the ‘Legislation’ page of our website and further information about the consultation undertaken for the amendment Rule can be found here. The compiled Rule will be registered with the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments (FRLI). For more information, see the Department of the Environment website here.

posted 20 July 2015

Transition of Carbon Farming Initiative methods to the Emissions Reduction Fund

Following public consultation, 10 Carbon Farming Initiative methods transitioned to the Emissions Reduction Fund on 1 July 2015. These methods have been updated to ensure they are consistent with the Emissions Reduction Fund legislation, easy to use and streamlined.

The remaining 16 CFI methods have been superseded and were revoked on 1 July 2015.

There is no reduction in the scope of activities eligible under the Emissions Reduction Fund as a result of the transition process: an increasing range of methods are now available to capture emissions reduction opportunities across the economy.

posted 6 July 2015

Commercial and Public Lighting method released

The Commercial and Public Lighting method allows businesses and local councils to reduce emissions by upgrading lighting systems. The method supports projects in a broad range of building types, including offices, shopping centres, hospitals and schools. Local councils could also use the method to upgrade their street lights, traffic lights or lighting for public spaces.

Applications for projects using this method may be made to the Clean Energy Regulator.

posted 19 June 2015

Draft energy efficiency method open for consultation

The High Efficiency Fan Installations draft method covers projects that reduce emissions by installing highly efficient fans that use less electricity than fans of average efficiency. The draft method applies to fans in refrigeration systems, such as refrigerated cool rooms; or ventilation fans in commercial and industrial buildings, such as those found in underground car parks and the common areas of residential buildings.

Comments are being sought on the draft method until 9 July 2015.

posted 12 June 2015

New methods released

Landholders and cotton growers will be interested in two new methods released for use under the Emissions Reduction Fund.

The irrigated cotton method aims to reduce emissions by improving the efficiency of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser use in irrigated cotton production. The method provides cotton growers with flexibility to select a broad range of management actions to achieve emissions reductions.

The reforestation and afforestation method allows for reforestation of cleared land and afforestation on land where no forests previously existed in order to store carbon, reducing carbon in the atmosphere.

posted 12 June 2015

CER releases fact sheets on aggregation and legal right

With requests being made for more information on aggregation and legal right, the Clean Energy Regulator has released fact sheets to offer some simple guidance.

posted 12 June 2015

ASIC updates regulatory guidance

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has updated Regulatory Guide 236, ‘Do I need an AFSL to participate in carbon markets’ following changes to the structure and regulation of carbon markets in Australia.

The updated guidance provides technical information for carbon market participants - in particular, carbon abatement project developers and aggregators - to assist them to operate their businesses in compliance with the financial services laws.

Any person considering entering into an aggregated arrangement under the Emissions Reduction Fund should obtain their own independent legal and financial advice with reference to their own circumstance.

posted 12 June 2015

Transition of Carbon Farming Initiative methods to the Emissions Reduction Fund

Consultation is under way on the transition of nine Carbon Farming Initiative methods into the Emissions Reduction Fund. The transitioning methods will be updated to ensure that they are consistent with the Emissions Reduction Fund legislation, easy to use and streamlined.

As part of this transition process, 17 superseded Carbon Farming Initiative methods are proposed to be revoked. It is intended that there will be no reduction in the scope of activities eligible under the Emissions Reduction Fund as a result of the proposed transition process.

posted 23 April 2015

First auction results

The Clean Energy Regulator has awarded contracts to the value of $660 million following the first Emissions Reduction Fund auction. The successful contractors have committed to deliver over 47 million tonnes of abatement, with an average price of $13.95 per tonne of abatement.

The 107 carbon abatement contracts were awarded to 43 contractors covering 144 projects. The majority applied under sequestration methods and landfill and alternative waste treatment methods.

For an overview see the auction results fact sheet and for more information visit the Clean Energy Regulator’s auction results page.

posted 26 March 2015

New methods available

Since the March edition, five Emissions Reduction Fund methods were made providing additional opportunities for energy efficiency, wastewater, savanna burning and avoided deforestation projects.

  • The Avoided deforestation method estimates emissions reductions achieved by not clearing land that would otherwise have been cleared.
  • The Aggregated small energy users method reduces emissions created from energy consumption by small energy users such as households or small businesses.
  • The Savanna fire management method aims to reduce the incidence and extent of larger, higher intensity, late dry season fires in northern savannas by burning in the early dry season.
  • The Industrial electricity and fuel efficiency method could benefit owners or operators of (usually large-scale) energy intensive equipment.
  • The Wastewater method could benefit operators of facilities which treat domestic, commercial or industrial wastewater using a deep open anaerobic lagoon.

Applications or variations for emissions reduction projects using these methods can be made to the Clean Energy Regulator.

For more information, please call 1300 553 542 or email enquiries@cleanenergyregulator.gov.au

ERF Update 2014