Industry 4.0 Opportunities in White Certificate Schemes

Chief Investigators

Industry 4.0 technologies offer new ways to improve energy efficiency. These technologies include features like detecting faults, adjusting controls in real-time, and adapting to varying energy demands. By utilising these emerging technologies, the commercial and industrial sectors can reduce their electricity consumption and participate in electricity markets. 

One specific area with great potential for implementing Industry 4.0 solutions is non-residential buildings in Australia. By deploying these technologies in this sector alone, it is estimated that 6.6 million metric tons of CO2-e emissions could be saved each year, with an additional benefit being the ability to create one gigawatt of power that can be flexibly managed and controlled. 

However, there are challenges that need to be addressed to fully realise the benefits of Industry 4.0 in this context. The RACE for 2030 B2 and B4 Opportunity Assessments have identified two main barriers. Firstly, the implementation of Industry 4.0 technology can be complex and require significant effort. Secondly, measuring and validating the impact of these interventions can be difficult. 

To overcome these barriers, financial incentives in the form of white certificate schemes could be introduced. These schemes would provide economic benefits for adopting energy-saving Industry 4.0 technologies. Additionally, they would help streamline the measurement and verification processes by utilising Industry 4.0 technology itself.


(NSW Government’s Energy Security Safeguard Implementation Team)

source: (NSW Government’s Energy Security Safeguard Implementation Team)

Purpose of project

This project aims to investigate and test opportunities within Australia’s State-based white certificate schemes. The goal is to encourage the adoption of energy-saving Industry 4.0 technologies and simplify the measurement and verification processes by leveraging Industry 4.0 technology. 

Impact of project

The estimated benefits of improved energy productivity are significant and include the following: 

  • 372 TJ of energy savings, which translate to a substantial reduction in energy consumption. 
  • Approximately $13.7 billion saved in energy costs, indicating significant financial savings. 
  • 66 mega-tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions reduced, contributing to a greener, more sustainable environment. 
  • An investment of $5 billion, reflecting the commitment and resources dedicated to this initiative. 

The project is expected to deliver 2.7 times more benefits than its overall cost, highlighting a value-for-money investment. 

Furthermore, it has the potential to create around 70,000 job-years of employment opportunities in the non-residential buildings sector, thereby stimulating economic growth. 

The likelihood of achieving the project’s desired outcomes is very high, with a 95% probability. This confidence is based on previous research that developed the Data Clearing House (DCH) platform and the Measurement and Verification (M&V) algorithms. The focus of this project is to pilot and test these solutions and gain insights from the industry on their implementation. 

The chances of the developed outputs being adopted by the scheme operators are estimated with reasonable confidence at approximately 40%. This estimation is based on the industry’s identified need and desire for such solutions, along with the ongoing policy development process that supports and aligns with these goals. 

Project partners – industry and research

CSIRO (Lead), Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air conditioning and Heating (AIRAH), Buildings Alive, City of Melbourne, DEECA (VIC), Energy Efficiency Council (EEC), Exergenics, IoT Alliance Australia (IOTAA), National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS), NSW DCCEEW, Sydney Water 

Industry Reference Group members

8020Green, Better Buildings Partnership (BBP), Department of Energy and Mining (DEM) (SA) 

Completion date

September 2024 

Project code


Page last updated 2 April 2024