Commercial and public lighting

Closed 15 Apr 2015

Opened 15 Apr 2015

Published Responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


The climate change function transferred to our department from the Department of the Environment and Energy on 1 February 2020.

Finalised method determination

Methodology Determination made. The Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative—Commercial and Public Lighting) Methodology Determination 2015 was made on 25 June 2015.

Project applications to implement the Methodology Determination may be made to the Clean Energy Regulator.

About this method

This determination provides for crediting emissions reductions from projects that improve the energy performance of lighting systems in commercial and industrial buildings, as well as public areas, such as pedestrian, street, and traffic lighting.

Who could benefit?

The method applies to projects that improve the energy performance of lighting systems in commercial and industrial buildings, as well as in public areas, such as pedestrian, street and traffic lighting. Project proponents could be: owners, operators or tenants of commercial and industrial buildings; local and state governments; electricity companies; lighting manufacturers or suppliers; or other lighting project aggregators.

How does it work?

A lighting upgrade project involves modifying, replacing or supplementing lighting equipment that is part of an existing lighting system for the purpose of reducing electricity usage of that system as a whole. A number of lighting upgrades may be included in a single project. Examples of activities that could be undertaken using the method include:

  • modifying or replacing illumination equipment (such as lamps and ballasts)
  • installing lighting control systems (such as motion sensors, sensor lights, and programmable and manual dimmers), which affect the way lighting systems consume electricity
  • installing equipment that generates electricity for direct use by the lighting systems (such as integrated photovoltaic luminaire units).

The abatement delivered by a lighting upgrade is calculated by comparing the electricity consumption of an upgraded lighting system to the electricity consumption of the system that existed prior to the upgrade. The reduction in electricity consumption is then multiplied by an electricity emissions factor to convert electricity savings to avoided emissions. The electricity consumption of a lighting system is estimated based on the amount of power drawn by each lamp or luminaire included in the system. The calculations also apply deemed values to take account of:

  • electricity consumed by control gear (such as transformers)
  • hours of operation (based on the type of building or type of space serviced by the lighting system)
  • lighting control devices (such as motion sensors)
  • the effect of reduced heat loads on air conditioning/heating where applicable
  • shutdown periods.


The following requirements must be met to ensure a project is eligible under this method.

  • Each lighting upgrade must be undertaken on a lighting system that services a non-residential building or public space.
  • The use and size of the area that a lighting system services must be the same before and after the upgrade (e.g. changing the use of a space from warehouse to office, or from a larger warehouse space to a smaller warehouse space is not permitted under the method).
  • The lighting system must be in working order prior to the upgrade.
  • All lamps, luminaires and control gear (both pre and post upgrade) must be of a type listed in Schedules 1 and 2 of the method.
  • A lighting upgrade will not be eligible if it is part of reconstruction or renovation works that would require development approval under state or territory law, with or without the lighting upgrade.

Monitoring, reporting and auditing

The commercial and public lighting method uses deemed values and readily available lighting product technical data to calculate abatement, so it does not include ongoing monitoring requirements. However, proponents must submit offsets reports providing information on the lighting systems included in a project. Such information includes the location of each lighting system, the technical data used in the abatement calculation, whether the systems were included in previous offsets reports and whether any systems have been excluded from calculations. This information helps to easily compare an offsets report with a previous or future report and helps assess whether the calculated abatement is correct.

It's important to keep project records because you will need to submit regular reports on your project, including reporting on your emissions reductions.

Projects must be audited by a registered greenhouse and energy (NGERS) auditor. A list of registered auditors is available on the Clean Energy Regulator website.

Development of this method

Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee (ERAC) advice

The ERAC's advice to the Minister regarding the suitability of the Determination to be made is published here, in accordance with Section 106(11) (C) of the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011.

Public consultation

A draft method determination for Coal mine waste gas was released for public comment. Submissions closed 15 April 2015.

Draft determination and explanatory statement


  • Emissions Reduction Fund


  • Climate Change
  • Emissions Reduction Fund