8 May 2020

GEMS, E3 and COVID-19

The Australian Government recognises that COVID-19 is significantly impacting businesses around the country as well as disrupting global supply chains. Therefore the government is working closely with industry to understand these disruptions and develop an appropriate response to minimise the impact on businesses. This includes carefully considering the number of consultations as well as management of regulations that are currently in place, or may be in place in the near future, and how these may impact Australian businesses.

GEMS Registrations and Enquiries

The registration system is fully operational and we continue to assess applications, process renewals and variations and respond to enquiries. Due to changes in staffing there may be some minor delays but we plan to maintain our service commitments under the GEMS Regulator Service Charter.

The annual GEMS Stakeholder Survey assessing our performance, usually conducted in May/June, will be deferred at this time but we welcome your feedback and suggestions for improvement at any time.

GEMS Compliance

GEMS Compliance will continue to work with the regulated community to help entities comply with GEMS Act requirements. If regulated entities have difficulties complying with requirements as a result of COVID-19 we encourage you to contact us as soon as practicable so that we can work through any issues with you. Contact can be made via – E3.Compliance@Industry.gov.au

Determinations

The Department is reviewing all consultation processes on energy efficiency regulation and consultation plans have been significantly reduced. The only GEMS proposal that will proceed for public consultation at this time is an exposure draft of the determination on swimming pool pumps on the basis that the industry sector is agreeable to this work continuing and the work is well advanced.  The relevant Australian Standard was published in November 2019 and development of the determination was approved by the COAG Energy Council.  Other than that, the Department will continue to work with Standards Australia and stakeholders in relevant standards development processes.

Going forward, we are planning for the timing of consultation on new regulatory proposals under GEMS to be considered by the Equipment Energy Efficiency Review Committee (E3RC).

A final draft of the GEMS determination covering air conditioners over 65 kW in capacity is currently being prepared for approval.  The only significant changes from the exposure draft published last year is that SEER testing will be optional rather than mandatory for air conditioners over 65 kW in capacity and the determination is proposed to take effect from 1 October 2021.

The GEMS determination covering commercial refrigeration products, registered and published in August 2019, is coming into force on 15 August 2020. This determination revises the MEPS and testing requirements for display cabinets, and introduces requirements for storage cabinets and ice cream freezers and scooping cabinets for the first time.  Suppliers have already been registering models against the 2019 determination. If COVID-19 is causing difficulties with meeting the requirements of the determination, please contact the Enquiries Team and provide details of the issues being encountered and the models that are being impacted.

We will continue to communicate any updates to the above or changes that may impact our operations. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions regarding the above or questions specific to your business.  

The Enquiries Team can be contacted via the Contact Us Form on the Energy Rating website, and the Compliance Team via E3.Compliance@industry.gov.au.

Regards

The Energy Rating Team