Retailer Energy Efficiency Scheme

The Retailer Energy Efficiency Scheme (REES) commenced on 1 January 2015 and will operate to 2020. It builds on the Residential Energy Efficiency Scheme, which operated from 2009 to 2014.

The REES is a South Australian Government initiative that requires larger energy retailers to help households and businesses save energy. The objective of the scheme is to reduce household and business energy use, with a focus on low-income households. This will provide associated energy costs and greenhouse gas emission benefits.

Energy retailers that exceed certain thresholds are set annual targets for the delivery of energy efficiency activities to households and/or businesses. In addition, retailers with larger residential customer bases are set targets for ensuring that a certain amount of the energy-efficiency activities they deliver go to low-income households; and providing energy audits to low-income households.

The REES is administered by the Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCOSA). The ESCOSA website includes information on how households and businesses can access energy efficiency activities through the REES.

Information for households and businesses

If you are a South Australian household or a business, you may be able to receive energy-efficiency activities at no cost or at a discount from energy retailers participating in the REES. If you are low-income household, you may also be able to receive an energy audit.

Each energy retailer participating in the scheme decides on what mix of approved energy efficiency activities it will undertake to meet its target.

Energy efficient activities that maybe offered under the REES include:

  • installation of energy efficient lighting, water efficient shower heads, stand-by power controllers, insulation and energy efficient water heating in homes
  • installation of energy efficient lighting and water efficient shower heads in businesses.

To find out what activities energy retailers are currently offering, you can contact any of the obliged energy retailers in South Australia, not just the retailer currently supplying you. Energy retailers may contract out their energy audits and energy efficiency activities to third-party contractors, you may also contact these Service Providers or third-party contractors directly.

Checklist if you are offered energy-efficient activities or an energy audit under the REES

If a person comes to your home or business and offers you a REES energy efficiency activity or REES audit, they must identify themselves.

Identification must include:

  • the provider's full name
  • their photograph
  • the full name of the company that they are representing (including ABN)
  • a contact telephone number of the company that they are representing.

Once the activities or audit have been carried out in your home or business, the provider must give you a written information statement that:

  • provides the name and contact details of the person or entity that performed the energy audit or energy efficiency activity
  • describes the energy audit and/or energy efficiency activity undertaken in your home or business
  • notes that the energy audit or energy efficiency activity will count towards satisfying an obliged retailer's obligations under the REES
  • clearly outlines the dispute resolution process if you are not satisfied with the audit or activity.

How to make a complaint about the REES

If you are unable to resolve a dispute with a REES provider, or you were not given the provider's details, you can also lodge a complaint with the Essential Services Commission of South Australia by calling 8463 4444 or sending an email to

Information for energy retailers and service providers

The REES is implemented through Part 4 of the Electricity (General) Regulations 2012 under the Electricity Act 1996 and Part 4 of the Gas Regulations 2012 under the Gas Act 1997.

The REES consists of two three-year stages: 2015 to 2017 and 2018 to 2020. The Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy sets the annual targets to be achieved through the REES at the beginning of each stage. These are then apportioned to each obliged energy retailer by ESCOSA as scheme administrator.

Thresholds and targets

The Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy has gazetted key elements for the operation of the scheme for the period 2015 to 2017. See from page 6648 of the 11 December 2014 Government Gazette. These include the annual targets for 2015, 2016 and 2017, thresholds of obligations for 2015, 2016 and 2017, the value of the designated purchases and how targets are to be apportioned.

The report, REES final decisions on thresholds and targets 140.4 KB, provides further information.

Energy audits and energy efficiency activities

The Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy has gazetted:

  • The minimum specifications for energy audits that energy retailers can deliver to meet any energy audit targets;
  • The minimum specifications for energy efficiency activities that energy retailers can deliver to meet their energy efficiency targets.

See from page 6787 of the Government Gazette 2014 number 90 – 18 December and page 2681 of Government Gazette 2016 number 39 – 30 June.

The report, REES Final decisions on of Activity Specifications and Ministerial Protocol 436.2 KB provides further information.

Energy audits

The energy audit specification 434.7 KB describes the competency requirements for persons undertaking a REES energy audit and the way in which the audit is to be conducted.

The REES priority group of households has been expanded to include householders facing energy-related financial stress. These householders can only be referred to REES providers by full and associate registered members of the South Australian Financial Counsellors Association.

Commercial lighting upgrades

From 2015, commercial lighting upgrades are eligible activities under REES. Independent energy consultancy, Sustainable Focus, was commissioned in August 2014 to analyse market opportunities for commercial lighting upgrades.

Download extracts from the research:

Commercial building lighting upgrade opportunities 242.4 KB
Commercial building lighting upgrade opportunities 444.8 KB

Activity review and reporting – ministerial protocol

On 15 December 2015, the Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy approved a REES Ministerial Protocol 320.4 KB that:

  • guides the Minister in determining the range of approved energy efficiency activities; and
  • sets out reporting requirements for ESCOSA in its role as scheme administrator.

Activity specifications

There are general specifications 263.5 KB that apply to all approved REES energy efficiency activities. Listed below are specifications for each of the approved energy efficiency activities.

Please note that a number of these specifications make reference to the government's Installation of ceiling insulation – consumer safety self-assessment and installer acknowledgement form 314.9 KB.


BS1A – Installation of Insulation in an Uninsulated Ceiling Space 362.0 KB (Residential only)

BS1B – Installation of Top Up Insulation in a Ceiling Space 364.3 KB (Residential only)

BS1C – Installation of Insulation to an External Wall 361.0 KB (Residential only)

BS1D – Installation of Insulation to Floors 357.2 KB (Residential only)

Building sealing

BS2 – Building Sealing Activities (Various) 298.0 KB (Residential only)


BS3A – Replace an Inefficient Window with a Thermally Efficient Window 356.7 KB (Residential only)

BS3B– Secondary Glazing Retrofit 357.4 KB (Residential only)

Heating and cooling

HC1 – Install an Efficient New Flued Gas Space Heater (Non-Ducted) 297.7 KB (Residential only)

HC2A – Install an Efficient New Reverse Cycle Air Conditioner (Non-Ducted) 289.5 KB (Residential only)

HC2B – Install an Efficient New Reverse Cycle Air Conditioner (Ducted) 287.3 KB (Residential only)

HC3A – Install Efficient New Ductwork 361.9 KB (Residential only)

HC3B – Replace Ductwork with an Enhanced Ductwork System 360.3 KB (Residential only)

Water heating

WH1 – Replace or Upgrade Water Heater 375.8 KB (Residential only)

WH2 – Replace an Inefficient Showerhead with an Efficient Showerhead 357.4 KB (Residential or commercial)


L1 – Install CFL or LED General Purpose Lamp 295.3 KB (Residential only)

L2 – Install LED Down-light Lamp or LED Down-light Luminaire 211.2 KB (Residential only)

L3 – Replace Halogen Floodlight Luminaire 202.1 KB (Residential only)

L4 – Replace Linear Fluorescent Luminaire 215.4 KB (Residential only)

CL1 – Commercial Lighting Upgrade 382.3 KB (Commercial only)

Stand-by power

SPC1 – Install Stand-by Power Controllers - Audio Visual (AV) 277.7 KB (Residential only)

SPC2 –Install Stand-by Power Controllers – Information Technology (IT) 280.5 KB (Residential only)


APP1A – Purchase High Efficiency New Refrigerator or Refrigerator-Freezer 379.6 KB (Residential or commercial)

APP1B – Purchase a High Efficiency New Freezer 273.6 KB (Residential or commercial)

APP1D – Purchase a High Efficiency New Clothes Dryer 268.6 KB (Residential or commercial)

APP1F – Purchase a High Efficiency New Television 271.5 KB (Residential or commercial)

APP2 – Remove and Dispose of an Unwanted Refrigerator or Freezer 373.4 KB (Residential or commercial)

APP3 – Installation of a High Efficiency Pool Pump 284.4 KB (Residential only)

Alternative method

FLEX1 – Aggregate Metered Baseline Method (AMB) 606.5 KB (Residential or commercial)

For more information

Please contact or visit the ESCOSA – REES web page.

Related information

On this site

Review of the REES – completed
Easy energy saving tips

Check your home energy use - home energy audit

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Page last updated: 6 July 2016