The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme is important for checking how current organisations affect the environment. Extreme energy production and consumption from companies harm the environment, so the NGER scheme is an essential step in preventing this and saving energy.
However, understanding this scheme’s compliance and reporting obligations can be challenging, which is where we come in.
Keep reading our NGER guide to fully understand the scheme, including which organisations must comply with it, why it’s significant, what the obligations are, and more.
What is the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme?
The NGER scheme is a scheme designed to get companies to disclose their information regarding the following critical areas:
- Energy consumption
- Greenhouse gas emissions
- Energy production
Besides this primary goal, the other plans the Clean Energy Regulator has with this scheme include:
- To inform Territory Government programmes regarding saving energy, such as the Carbon Farming Initiative.
- To tell the Australian public about company information regarding energy reporting.
- To meet the reporting obligations in Australia.
The NGER Act 2007 established the scheme to help realise Australia’s energy-saving goals.
What Areas and Industries Can Take Part in the Scheme?
The NGER scheme is an Australia-wide initiative that covers many industries and sectors but primarily focuses on the ones likely to generate and use the most energy.
Some of the significant industries included in the scheme are:
- Power plants
- Facilities that produce heat and electricity
- Mining facilities (coal, oil and more)
- Manufacturing organisations – the biggest offenders are food production sites, chemical manufactures and paper manufacturers
- Transport facilities – airlines, shipping companies and more
- Waste disposal sites
Why is the NGER Significant to Businesses and the Environment?
The NGER has massive significance to the environment and Australian organisations.
It Improves Sustainability and Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Getting organisations to report their environmental impact means they will likely adopt other responsible and sustainable business practices moving forward. It also affects their reputation, so it gets them to lower their energy production and energy consumption levels.
Additionally, it can help determine the greenhouse gas emissions causing the most damage (carbon emissions, for example); it compiles reporting results from multiple sectors to find the most common greenhouse gases in major industries. Organisations can also use the data to set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
It Provides Benefits to Organizations
The positive impact on the environment isn’t the only benefit of the NGER’s single national framework, as multiple aspects benefit the organisations that comply; think of them as a kind of incentive. They include:
- Improving a company’s reputation regarding sustainability
- Identifying new opportunities to promote sustainability
- Mitigating risks in a business
What Are the NGER Reporting and Compliance Obligations?
The Clean Energy Regulator has a transparent process for the NGER scheme under the NGER Act.
Here is what organisations can expect when reporting to the scheme.
What Are the NGER Reporting Obligations for Organizations?
Organisations under the scheme must report all energy data, including production and consumption data and greenhouse gas emissions data.
Also, you must do this under the operational control of the controlling corporation.
You also need to understand your reporting thresholds for the NGER report.
- The reporting threshold for a facility is 25kt+ of greenhouse gases and 100tj+ for energy production and consumption.
- The reporting threshold for a corporation is double the amount (50kt and 200tj).
After you work this out, you must determine if the company is a controlling corporation; this is any corporation without an Australian-incorporated holding company. You should consult professional services if you’re unsure whether your company is a controlling corporation.
For facilities, the person with operational control is the one who can create or implement health and safety, operating and environmental policies.
What is the NGERs Reporting and Data Collection Process?
Before beginning the reporting process, register through a Clean Energy Regulator form. Doing this includes the Australian Business Number (ABN), an email address, a phone number, an executive officer’s postal address and the contact person’s name.
You also need to state the financial year you triggered the reporting requirement.
Once registered, you can enter the reporting period and fill out various report types when necessary. Here are the report types:
- Energy and emissions report
- Reporting transfer certificate energy and emissions report
- Group member energy and emissions report
Also, you must file all reports by 31st October of the reporting year.
You must comply with record-keeping obligations, such as:
- A complete list of all the monitored sources
- The data you used to calculate greenhouse gas emissions
- Any relevant documents that helped calculate the emissions, such as invoices and receipts
- Documents detailing the methods you used for energy usage calculation
- Documents that justify why you selected those calculation methods
- Documents detailing the data collection process
Keep these records in paper or electronic form, ensuring that energy auditors can access them. Auditors will consistently monitor the site via inspections and audits and analyse reported information to determine if the organisation meets its obligations.
If you fail to comply or willingly make some of the data secret to hide it from auditors, the maximum punishment can be up to two years of prison time.
What Are the Challenges of Navigating the NGER Scheme, and How Can You Overcome Them?
The most common challenge organisations have during the NGER scheme is that it can be difficult to interpret all reporting obligations. Therefore, you must read through all the obligations carefully, noting any documents you need to keep on file for the auditors.
Data collection can also be challenging because you need to track multiple parts of the business. To make this more manageable, you must establish a clear line of communication in the organisation to ensure that every department provides the necessary collection data.
Also, smaller businesses may not have all the resources needed to stay on top of every NGER obligation. The easiest way to solve this is to start preparing for the reporting period in advance; this can help you stay on top of reporting obligations and avoid careless errors.
Final Thoughts on How to Navigate The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme
The NGER scheme is crucial to making energy usage and production in organisations as transparent as possible.
If you’re in doubt about every obligation you must fulfil under the scheme, look at the Clean Energy Regulator website; they list all the obligations, including reporting, record-keeping and monitoring.
If organisations embrace the scheme more, it will lead to a greener environment in Australia, especially with reduced greenhouse gas emissions.