The regulations

Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment have released a National Policy Statement (NPS) and National Environmental Standard (NES) for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions from Industrial Process Heat, that came into force 27 July 2023.

Councils are now required to factor in emissions produced by industrial process heat when assessing air discharge resource consent applications. The regulations provide a nationally consistent framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from industrial process heat.

The regulations support New Zealand’s commitment to lowering emissions in line with achieving our emissions budgets and net zero 2050, and our international commitments under the Paris Agreement.

A focus on industrial process heat

Process heat is energy used specifically in industrial and manufacturing processes - for example, in turning wood into pulp and paper, processing milk into powder, or sanitising equipment. 

Process heat makes up around a third of our overall energy use and contributes approximately 8% of gross GHG emissions. This is a priority area for emissions reduction in New Zealand, as over half of the energy used is supplied using fossil fuels, mainly gas and coal.

The regulations will affect industries that use fossil fuels in heat devices such as boilers, furnaces, engines, or other combustion devices to generate industrial process heat, that produce GHG emissions. The regulations do not apply to emissions from non-fossil fuels used in industrial processes, electricity generation, or industries using fossil fuel-fired heat devices to heat space and water heating in commercial buildings.

EECA resources

EECA has published non-statutory guidance and information to help councils and industry with understanding key requirements of the regulations, including how to prepare and assess emissions plans required as part of a discharge to air resource consent application.

Suitably Qualified Person

A Suitably Qualified Person (SQP) must review emissions plans for high-emissions sites that emit more than 2,000 tonnes of CO2-e per year from heat devices using fossil fuels to generate industrial process heat.

An SQP should be a practitioner who has been approved by the regional council, that has relevant tertiary qualifications, expertise in the technology and practices of industrial process heat, and experience to review and provide recommendations on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

EECA has been working with Carbon and Energy Professionals (CEP) to develop a certification scheme for SQPs. A specific combination of existing certifications offered by CEP already meet the requirements to be acknowledged as an SQP. CEP has provided a list certified SQPs on its website under ‘Find an expert’.

There are energy and carbon professionals who may not be on the CEP list but that do meet the requirements to be an SQP. For more information see the Ministry for the Environment’s information sheet on the attributes of an SQP.  

Useful links:

Find an expert - Carbon and Energy Professionals | CEP(external link)

MFE Factsheet: Attributes of a Suitably Qualified Person(external link)

Fact sheets on the regulations

Ministry for the Environment has produced fact sheets that provide a summary of the requirements the National Policy Statement and National Environmental Standards for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Industrial Process Heat.

MFE fact sheet for industry(external link)

MFE fact sheet for councils(external link)

The National Direction is set to reduce New Zealand’s emissions by 277,000 tCO2-e per year - that's the equivalent of taking 100,000 cars off the road.


Other helpful EECA resources

EECA’s Sector Decarbonisation Programme collaborates with sector associations and technical experts to connect New Zealand businesses with world-class innovation and best practice guidance to decarbonise at a sector level. The programme also provides new businesses with best practice knowledge when they enter the sector.

Find out more about the Sector Decarbonisation Programme

Resource consent applicants need to undertake a Type 3 (or equivalent) process heat thermal energy audit when developing emissions plans. This will help to understand the total thermal energy use for heat devices on a proposed of existing site and identify energy efficiency opportunities. EECA provides assistance for energy audits for eligible sites.

Find out more about EECA support for Energy Audits

The Energy Transition Accelerator (ETA) is a flagship programme run by EECA for businesses committed to reducing carbon emissions. An expert will help you onto a long-term pathway to emissions reduction by identifying technically and financially viable decisions and investments. The ETA will help identify opportunities and initiatives aligned to your business’s strategic decarbonisation and asset management plans. EECA provides assistance for ETAs for eligible sites.

Find out more about the Energy Transition Accelerator Programme

Organisations involved

Ministry for the Environment and
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
The National Direction has been developed by the Ministry for the Environment (MFE) and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).
Regional Councils Regional Councils are responsible for implementing the NES and NPS, including assessing and making decisions on individual resource consent applications.
EECA (Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority) EECA is publishing a suite of non-statutory guidance to help councils and industry to understand and implement the regulations.

Contact us

If you have any questions in relation to the Emissions Plan Guidance and supporting documents, please email