Bills Digest no. 104 2006–07
Energy Efficiency Opportunities Amendment Bill
This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as
introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest
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Contact Officer & Copyright Details
Opportunities Amendment Bill 2006
House: House of Representatives
Portfolio: Industry, Tourism and
Sections 1 to 3, and items
6 to 8 of Schedule 1 commence on Royal Assent. Items 1 to 5 of
Schedule 1 commence retrospectively - they are taken to have
commenced when the Energy Efficiencies Opportunities Act 2006 came
into force on6 April 2006.
To make some relatively minor changes to the Energy
Efficiencies Opportunities Act 2006.
The Commonwealth s Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) program
is designed to encourage large energy-using corporations to improve
their energy efficiency. It does this by requiring them to assess
their operations to identify how they could improve energy
efficiencies. They are not required to actually implement any
opportunities identified, but relevant corporations are required to
report on how they have responded to such opportunities.
The energy threshold for corporations under the Energy
Efficiencies Opportunities Act 2006 (the EEO Act) is 0.5
petajoules (PJ) of energy per year. Those that use in excess of
this must register and participate in the EEO program. It is
estimated that around 250 corporations in Australia exceed the
threshold. Such corporations have until March 31 2007 to register
with the program. The most current publicly available list of
registered corporations can be accessed at the website relating to
the EEO program - see
The initial assessment reports by registered corporations on energy
efficiencies need not be completed until June 2008.
The various legal obligations, reporting provisions and
enforcement powers relating to the EEO program are set out in the
EEO Act and Energy Efficiencies Opportunities Regulations 2006.
According to the
Minister s second reading speech, the Energy Efficiency
Opportunities Amendment Bill 2006 (the Bill) is
to make technical amendments to the Energy
Efficiency Opportunities Act 2006 to correct a small number of
anomalies to properly align the act with the original publicly
understood policy intent and to improve its administration.
The Bill amends the act to:(2)
- clarify that corporations do not need to register if they are
- make clear that the period allowed for program participants to
submit their assessment plans and the consequential timing of the
five-year assessment cycle starts immediately after the end of the
energy-use trigger year; and
- [allow] the secretary s powers and responsibilities to be
delegated to acting Senior Executive Service employees.
The Bill was briefly debated in the House of Representatives on
7 December 2006. There were no substantive amendments proposed.
The Explanatory Memorandum states that the Bill will have no
Items 1-5 make various technical amendments to
clarify various obligations of corporations subject to the EEO
program under the EEO Act.
Item 6 will allow the existing powers of the
Secretary(3) under the EEO Act to be delegated to a
person who is an acting SES employee. Currently the delegate must
be a substantive SES employee.
Item 7 provides that the Energy Efficiencies
Opportunities Regulations 2006 (as existing at the time the Bill
commences) are deemed to be valid. Although not explicitly stated,
presumably there may be inconsistencies between the current EEO Act
and Regulations. Items 1-4 amend the EEO Act to
correct some anomalies as mentioned above and should eliminate
these inconsistencies. Item 6 will ensure that any
actions already taken under the Regulations are valid.
The intent of item 8 is similar to item
7. It provides that assessment plans submitted before the
commencement of the Bill are taken to be plans properly submitted
under the amended EEO Act.
- The Hon. Ian MacFarlane, House of Representatives,
Debates, 29 November 2006, p. 11.
- This is currently the Secretary of the Department of Industry,
Tourism and Resources.
27 February 2007
Bills Digest Service
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© Commonwealth of Australia 2007
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Published by the Parliamentary Library, 2007.
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