5.8 Greenhouse and energy audits

Many mining and petroleum companies use a trigger or threshold, which may be a greenhouse gas emissions threshold, an energy production threshold or an energy consumption threshold, to trigger greenhouse gas and energy audits.

The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Regulations 2008 and the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Audit) Determination 2009 set out detailed requirements for the conduct of greenhouse and energy audits, including requirements of audit team members, documentation, the audit process and audit conclusions.

Most greenhouse and energy audits are expected to be carried out on behalf of the Clean Energy Regulator to assess compliance with the legislation. Voluntary audits are commonly carried out for reporting entities to assist them in complying with the legislation. The Act also provides a number of circumstances in which the Clean Energy Regulator might initiate a greenhouse and energy audit.

A registered greenhouse and energy auditor (registered by the Clean Energy Regulator) must be appointed as the audit team leader. The audit team leader must be a Category 2 or Category 3 registered greenhouse and energy auditor and is responsible for ensuring that the requirements of the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Audit) Determination 2009 are satisfied. The way that objective is achieved is at the discretion of the audit team leader.

There are three different types of greenhouse and energy audits as defined under the NGER Act: assurance engagements providing either reasonable or limited assurance, and verification engagements providing no assurance.

Assurance and verification engagements may examine any or all aspects of the audited body’s compliance with the NGER Act and other subordinate legislation, including:

  • emissions, energy production and energy consumption reported in accordance with section 19 of the NGER Act
  • definitions of corporate group and facilities through the application of overall and operational control
  • requirements for identification and measurement of emissions sources, energy consumption and production points
  • requirements for accuracy, completeness and validity of reported greenhouse and energy information, including record-keeping requirements.
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