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New framework for greenhouse and energy auditing

The audit framework for greenhouse and energy auditing was put in place in late 2009 and is a key compliance monitoring measure under the NGER Act.  

Reporting is mandatory for corporations whose energy production, energy consumption, or greenhouse gas emissions meet certain thresholds outlined in the NGER Act.  

Relevant corporations need to apply to be registered by the Greenhouse and Energy Data Officer (GEDO) and then report annually on their energy production, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.  

Reporting system established by the NGER Act  

The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 (the NGER Act) introduced a national framework for the reporting and dissemination of information about greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gas projects, and energy use and production of corporations.  

The reporting system established by the NGER Act is designed to:

  • underpin the introduction of the proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme
  • inform government policy formulation and the Australian public
  • meet Australia’s international reporting obligations
  • assist Commonwealth, state and territory government programs and activities
  • avoid duplication of similar reporting requirements in states and territories.  

Greenhouse and Energy Audit Framework  

Among other things, the NGER Amendment Act 2009 established the Greenhouse and Energy Audit Framework.  

To further the objectives of encouraging and promoting compliance, monitoring compliance, investigating non-compliance and acting on non-compliance, the GEDO is required to establish and maintain a register of greenhouse and energy auditors.   

The Minister for Climate Change and Water will determine requirements to be met by auditors in carrying out these greenhouse and energy audits.  

Audits can be carried out in relation to one of more aspects of a corporation’s compliance with the NGER Act including structure, facilities, operational control, emissions and energy, measurement methodologies, calculations and reporting.  

If the GEDO has reasonable grounds to suspect non-compliance by a corporation they will be able to initiate a compliance audit.  However, the GEDO may initiate an audit for any purpose, without the need for suspicion of non-compliance.  For example, GEDO may initiate greenhouse and energy audits on a risk management basis or to gather information on compliance with specific matters.  

Businesses are responsible for assessing their liability under the NGER Act.   The two types of thresholds at which corporations are required to participate are ‘facility’ thresholds and ‘corporate’ thresholds. Both types have a greenhouse gas threshold and an energy threshold.  

If a corporation exceeds any one or more of the four thresholds for each reporting year, registration is required. The corporate group thresholds lower each year over the first three reporting years.   

It is critical that corporations who are required to report their emissions ensure compliance with the NGER Act.  

 Please contact Lynne Grant or Geoff Green on 03 8319 1866 or at lynne.grant@bsglegal.com.au or geoff.green@bsglegal.com.au for further information.



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