What is NGERs, who needs to report and how to comply

19th February 2023

coal_mine_hunter valley - ngers
thomas hodgson anthesis

Thomas Hodgson



What is NGERs?

NGERs or the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme, is Australia’s national legislative framework for reporting and publishing company information about greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, energy production and energy consumption. It is administered by the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) who register and deregister corporations for reporting, receive reports submitted through the Emissions and Energy Reporting System (EERS) and who enforce compliance of the Act.

The NGERs Act was introduced in 2007 and has the following and objectives:

  • inform government policy
  • inform the Australian public
  • help meet Australia’s international reporting obligations
  • assist Commonwealth, state and territory government programmes and activities, and
  • avoid duplication of similar reporting requirements in the states and territories.

As of reporting in 2021 – 2022 there are just over 870 entities on the register reporting their scope 1 and 2 emissions under the NGER Act annually. These organisations form the highest emitting entities in Australia.

The production of energy is the largest contributor to Australia’s carbon emissions. Transport, agriculture, and industrial processes are the next highest emitting sectors.

NGERs Reporting – who needs to report

Who needs to report to NGERs is determined by specific emissions thresholds. These are classed as the Facility threshold and the Corporate Group threshold.

According to the CER, the current Facility threshold is

  • 25 kt or more of greenhouse gases (CO2-e) (scope 1 and scope 2 emissions)
  • production of 100 TJ or more of energy, or
  • consumption of 100 TJ or more of energy.

The current Corporate Group threshold is:

  • 50 kt or more of greenhouse gases (CO2-e) (scope 1 and scope 2 emissions)
  • production of 200 TJ or more of energy, or
  • consumption of 200 TJ or more of energy.

It is important to note, when estimating emissions to determine if the above reporting thresholds are triggered, corporations must take into account all activities, including work by contractors or sub-contractors undertaken at the facilities under operational control.

How to comply with NGERs

NGER Reporting requirements mandate all registered controlling corporations are required to submit an NGER report each year whilst they meet these thresholds. If they no longer meet the thresholds, they will be deregistered.

Registered corporations are required to report all greenhouse gas emissions, energy production and energy consumption from facilities under the operational control of:

  • the registered controlling corporation, or
  • members of its group.

Record keeping is an important part of the NGERs reporting process and accurate, complete, consistent, and transparent data must be available for the external audit.  The CER recommends that organisations keep a record of not only the calculation and data analysis methods used but also how the decision was made so they are able to assess compliance.

Reporting entities should be aware the Clean Energy Regulator closely monitors compliance with the NGER legislation and if there is a question of non-compliance, an audit may be undertaken. Where non-compliance is detected, regulatory action and penalties can be applied for a period of up to five years from the date of submission.

Top mistakes made under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) Scheme and 5 ways to avoid them.

Important dates to note

The following annual dates for reporting under the NGER scheme are outlined by the Clean Energy Regulator.

  • 1 July marks the start of the reporting year. National facility nominations for transport facilities are due under the safeguard mechanism.
  • 31 August National Greenhouse and Energy Register registration applications (corporations only need to register once, for the first year they trigger a threshold) and nominations of operational control are due.
  • 1 September Clean Energy Regulator to set reported baselines by this date.
  • 31 October National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting submissions are due.
  • 28 February Extract of the National Greenhouse and Energy Register and data for the previous (financial year) reporting period is published.

Assessing your NGER obligations

To comply with NGERs, it’s crucial to understand your obligations. Start by identifying your controlling corporation and all group members to ensure accurate reporting. Determine who has operational control over each facility within your organisation, as this will dictate reporting responsibilities. Finally, be familiar with the reporting thresholds to ascertain if your corporation meets the criteria for mandatory reporting. Properly assessing these elements ensures compliance with the NGER Act and helps in effectively managing your greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption.

What is the Safeguard Mechanism?

The Safeguard Mechanism (SGM) places emissions limits – or baselines – on Australia’s largest emitters. Facilities with more than 100,000 tonnes of scope 1 (direct) carbon emissions per annum must keep their emissions below a baseline, or purchase Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) to make up the difference. Though complex to administer, baselines can support business growth and allow businesses to continue normal operations, while encouraging lower emissions production.

The Safeguard Mechanism builds on the NGERs reporting and record keeping requirements and together they help businesses to measure, report and manage their emissions. The key aim of the Safeguard Mechanism is to ensure that emissions reductions purchased through the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) are not displaced by significant increases in emissions elsewhere in the economy.

NGERS reporting – how we can help

We have been assisting organisations with their NGERs reporting to the NGERs Act since its inception in 2007. Our Managing Director was a key member of the Australian Government team that designed and implemented the NGER legislation, and our technical specialists have delivered many NGERs/SGM/ERF projects for some of Australia’s largest emitters and project developers.

Our team collectively has over 30 years’ experience within industry and as external advisors specialising in this space. We are registered auditors under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 and provide assurance in compliance with the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting framework that covers both NGERs and Safeguard Mechanism liable entities.