The Federal Government has released new methods for public consultation ahead of the first Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) auction.

The government has provide four new ways for councils and community groups to reduce harmful emissions, which will enable to lodge bids in the reverse-auction process on April 15.

Three of the methods announced focus on energy use and have the potential to improve energy efficiency in commercial and public lighting, commercial appliances and fan motors.

The fourth method aims to reduce fugitive emissions from oil and natural gas processes.

The draft commercial and public lighting method will apply to lighting system upgrades in commercial and industrial buildings and public lighting such as pedestrian, street and traffic lighting.

Emissions reduction methods set out the rules for estimating emissions reductions from proposed activities. The draft methods were approved by the Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee for public consultation and developed in consultation with technical working groups and industry.

Businesses, community organisations and individuals are invited to make submissions on the draft methods by 5pm AEST 15 April 2015.

Further details about the draft methods and how to make a submission are available on the Department's website