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EPA’s Environment and Resource Efficiency Plans (EREP) program helps Victorian businesses meet resource scarcity challenges. Through the EREP program, industry can realise the business opportunities presented by resource efficiency by implementing actions that achieve environmental benefits and direct cost savings in a short time frame.
The EREP program is a regulatory requirement for large energy and water using sites operating in Victoria – those using more than 100 TJ of energy and/or 120 ML of water per annum.
Do you need to participate?
Any site that uses more than 120 ML of water and/or 100 TJ of energy in a financial year needs to participate in the EREP program. Sites need to register in the program by September after the first financial year that their usage exceeds the energy or water use thresholds.
There are penalties for failing to register during this period if your usage exceeds the thresholds.
If you are unsure of whether your site has tripped the EREP thresholds, you can self-assess your annual energy and water usage – using the calculator below – to determine whether your site needs to participate in EREP.
The self-assessment calculator does not require a password and the information is not saved. If your site is above the thresholds, you will then be directed to login and register for the program. At this point you will need to create a username and password.
If you already know your site's usage is above the thresholds, you can register your site without using the calculator.
Businesses that have multiple sites involved in the EREP program can manage their participation at the corporate level. The online system allows multiple sites to be registered under the one username and password.
Businesses that are new to the EREP program will need to create a username and password using the EREP login button, below. Once logged in, enter your company and site details and the site's resource usage (energy, water use and waste generation) for the previous financial year. The registration must be authorised by the chief executive, managing director or delegate of the company.
Developing an EREP
Once a site has registered for the program, it is required to submit an EREP. This involves:
- calculating baseline energy, water and waste data
- identifying major energy-using, water-using and waste-generating activities
- identifying actions to reduce energy and water usage and reduce waste
- calculating financial and resource costs and savings expected from each action
- calculating payback periods for each action
- nominating time frames and responsibilities for implementing actions
- monitoring, reviewing and reporting on the sites progress.
The EREP guidelines (publication 1198.1) set out the full requirements of the EREP program. You can also access presentations and training materials on how to go about developing an EREP.
EREPs are developed and submitted through EPA’s online system (available through the login button). Data in the system can be saved at any time and returned to at a later date, allowing participants to ensure that they have met all the program requirements before submitting a plan.
The annual due date for submission of plans is 30 June. Voluntary participants in the program can submit a plan at any time.
EREP annual reports
Once a site’s EREP is approved, all actions that have a three year or better payback period must be implemented.
Businesses then submit annual performance reports through EPA’s online system, which include updated resource usage data and progress towards the implementation of actions.
The due date for annual reports is three months after the end of the nominated reporting period. Participating sites are able to choose whether they report on a financial or calendar year. Please contact the EREP team if you are unsure of what period you are reporting on.
The EREP program has been designed to recognise the work that some businesses are already doing, and avoid duplication of work. Businesses that can demonstrate that they have equivalent resource efficiency plans in place can apply for an exemption from the program.
There are several types of exemptions available to businesses that trip the EREP thresholds. In recognition of the resource saving activity some businesses already have under way, sites can either apply for an exemption or roll this work into their EREP, avoiding duplication.
Further information on the type of exemptions available is set out in the EREP guidelines. Please contact the EREP team to discuss your eligibility before applying for an exemption.
Exemption for temporary construction activities
The EREP program was designed to increase the resource efficiency of ongoing operations at commercial and industrial sites, rather than at sites with short-term projects.
Construction projects are temporary and dynamic, so activities on site change considerably over the life of a short-term project. As such, resource use assessments and resource efficiency actions do not remain relevant over a project’s life.
EPA has issued an exemption from the EREP program for temporary construction activities that meet the conditions of the attached notice of exemption (PDF 22KB).
To be eligible for an exemption, the activity must be anticipated to finish within two years following a ‘trigger year’ and meet the conditions of the notice of exemption. The applicant must also demonstrate that resource efficiency has been addressed through design, planning and operational stages.
Construction sites that are granted an exemption from EREP do not need to register for the program, prepare an EREP or report annually to EPA on resource efficiency.
The EREP program is a regulatory requirement for large energy and water users. EPA encourages all other businesses to voluntarily participate in the program, so that they too can realise financial and environmental savings through cost-effective resource efficiency actions.
Businesses that already have a registered EREP site are encouraged to register other sites, whether they are in Victoria or not. By taking a coordinated approach to resource efficiency, businesses can generate further savings.
Voluntary participants receive the following benefits:
- invitation to resource efficiency training and other events
- access to resource efficiency guidance, such as the toolkit and case studies
- regular updates on resource efficiency developments, and advice from EPA
- use of the EREP online system as an energy, water and waste management system.
Businesses that are interested in a voluntary EREP or would like to discuss it further can contact the EREP team. Feel free to create a login and register your site in the EREP online system at any time.