The government has cut administrative funding for an energy efficiency program that is mandatory for big businesses.
Energy efficiency groups are livid the government has cut funding to a John Howard-era program that makes it mandatory for large energy-using businesses to improve their efficiency.
The midyear budget review on Tuesday says funding for the Energy Efficiency Opportunities program will terminate from July as part of the government's moves to abolish the carbon tax.
The program was set up in 2006 and makes it mandatory for companies who are large users of electricity, gas or diesel to improve the identification, evaluation and implementation of cost-effective energy savings opportunities.
The Energy Efficiency Council says the surprise cut has created huge uncertainty in the sector.
The council represents electricity generators and providers, and energy-efficiency product manufacturers, suppliers and installers.
"The government haven't scrapped the Energy Efficiency Opportunities program, because it's legislated, but they've cut funding to administer the program," chief executive Rob Murray-Leach said.
"People are confused and very, very angry."
A statement on the program's website says it will continue in its present form until June 30, 2014.
It says the government is consulting on how to optimise energy efficiency policy through its energy white paper.