Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) Street Lighting Calculation Tool

The Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) is the Federal Government’s flagship emissions reduction program through their Direct Action Plan. The ERF involves the government purchasing carbon abatement from a wide range of sources to reduce greenhouse emissions from one of many approved methodologies or “types of projects”.

There are currently a dozen or so methodologies approved with more slated to be included over the coming months, including the Commercial and Public Lighting methodology which may present opportunities for councils through energy efficient street lighting projects - such as changing your street lights to LEDs. The draft version of the Commercial and Public Lighting methodology was based largely on the New South Wales Energy Savings Scheme (ESS) which has seen many councils benefit and contribute funding to street lighting projects. 

If your council is currently scoping or planning a public lighting project, Ironbark has developed a free calculator to assist in determining the potential ERF funding that could be sourced through an energy efficient street lighting project.

The tool provides an estimate of the funding councils could receive through the ERF if and when the Commercial and Public Lighting methodology is approved. You simply type in your number of lights, technology type and an estimate of the Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCU) price that you could bid in an upcoming ERF auction and the tool will calculate your potential funding.

For more information on the ERF, the outcomes of the first auction and how councils may be able to get involved click here. You can also contact us to discuss how the ERF might work for your council or if you want to investigate other street lighting opportunities. Since 2011 Ironbark has secured funding and financing for street lighting projects for Australian councils to the value of over $100 million with many projects currently in the implementation phase and many more already completed. Ironbark has worked with all 68 (of 79) Victorian councils who have implemented an energy efficient street lighting bulk changeover or are in the process of implementing a street lighting project. Ironbark has also recently been engaged by the Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT), a group of 8 councils in South Australia and the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) in NSW to prepare for and implement LED street lighting projects.

We're always happy to chat to councils who want to deliver real action!

Download the Latest Version of the Tool

Please note we've updated the tool to account for a change in the way the Federal Government are calculating emissions reductions and using emission factors (more on that below). 

If you are one of the small number of people who have previously downloaded Version 1A of the tool, we recommend that you download Version 1B via the link below. (If you've got Version 1B already then you've got the most up-to-date version). 

>> Click here to download the ERF Street Lighting Calculation Tool.

Note also that you are free to modify all versions of the tool yourself. Parts of the tool have been locked to preserve formatting, however you can unlock this via the Tools menu as it is not password-protected. 

Want to Know More About How Emission Factors are Treated in the ERF?

When developing a street lighting financial and technical feasibility analysis (or business case), Ironbark uses state-based full fuel cycle emission factors, which can be found on pages 68-71 (table 41) of the National Greenhouse Accounts (NGA) Factors – December 2014 Update. These NGA Factors documents are updated periodically to reflect the most recent composition of electricity generation in the grid as this largely determines the emission factor.

However the draft Commercial and Public Lighting methodology (indeed all of the energy efficiency methodology) refers to the emissions factors to be used as "electricity obtained from an electricity grid that is a grid in relation to which the NGA Factors document". See section 19 of the draft methodology here for more information. This means that abatement must be calculated using specific ERF emissions factors from this most recent NGA Factors document. For NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, SA, Queensland and ACT there is a single "National Electricity Market (NEM) factor", currently 0.86 kg CO2-e/kWh. There are different grid factors for different parts of WA (0.76 kg CO2-e/kWh for the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) and 0.67 kg CO2-e/kWh for the North Western Interconnected System (NWIS)), for NT 0.58 kg CO2-e/kWh (for the Darwin Katherine Interconnected System (DKIS)) and even for off-grid (0.68 kg CO2-e/kWh).

Using this NEM-averaged emission factor means that in NSW, Victoria and Queensland, less CO2-e will be saved by reducing kWh (electricity) than through the more precise state-based factors. On the other hand, more CO2-e/kWh will be saved in Tasmania and SA. 


 Emissions Factor 
 Emissions Factor

NSW/ACT       0.99       0.86
Victoria       1.34       0.86
Queensland       0.93       0.86
Tasmania       0.23       0.86
South Australia       0.72       0.86
Western Australia (SWIS)                0.83       0.76
Western Australia (NWIS)        0.74       0.67
Northern Territory       0.78       0.58

 Confused? Give us a call and we'll explain more.