The Federal Government is providing additional investment in energy efficiency programs for the built environment, drawing support from major sustainable infrastructure bodies.
Increased government funding means programs such as the National Australian Built Environment Energy Ratings System and the Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) program will be continued and expanded.
The Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) welcomed the announcement, saying the investment had a clear focus on improving the energy and emissions performance of buildings.
The built environment accounts for a quarter of Australia’s emissions.
However, ASBEC’s modelling has indicated that with the right level of support, Australia’s building sector could deliver over a quarter of Australia’s 2030 emissions reduction target, whilst saving $20 billion and creating a healthier, more productive built environment.
ASBEC’s Executive Director, Suzanne Toumbourou, said the Federal Government’s commitment to low energy buildings sets the foundation for meaningful progress in a sector that offers some of the most cost-effective solutions for energy savings and emissions reduction.
The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) also welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of additional support for energy efficiency programs.
Head of Public Affairs and Membership, Jonathan Cartledge, said it was terrific to see government recognising the significant opportunity the built environment offers to meet Australia’s emissions reduction commitments.
“There is a wealth of evidence showing that improving the energy efficiency of our buildings is an extremely cost effective way to considerably cut carbon emissions,” Mr Cartledge said.
“Measures targeted at new and existing buildings could deliver 28 per cent of Australia’s 2030 emissions reduction target according to the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council.
The announcement includes commitments to the expansion of the application of the National Australian Built Environment Energy Ratings System (NABERS) to more building types, such as schools and industrial buildings.
“ASBEC strongly supports the expansion of the National Australian Built Environment Energy Ratings System, which has grown awareness of the benefits of energy performance of commercial buildings and driven better comfort and bill-saving outcomes for occupants,” Ms Toumbourou said.
“We look forward to a nationally harmonised rating system for residential buildings, so that householders can realise these benefits as well.”