More energy efficient buildings could deliver more than a quarter of Australia’s emissions reduction target and save $20 billion in energy bills for businesses and households, says a report commissioned by the Federal Government.

Recognising this potential, the Australian Government has announced funding to increase the energy productivity of buildings buildings.

The Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) welcomed the announcement from the Australian Government which outlines funding and an expanded mandate for the Australian Renewable Energy Authority (ARENA), and a package of measures to facilitate improved energy efficiency for residential and commercial buildings.

“More energy efficient buildings provide a win-win-win opportunity in terms of jobs, energy savings and emission reduction,” said ASBEC’s President, Professor Ken Maher AO.

“While Australia’s foremost developers are leading globally in terms of sustainability, our broader building sector lags far behind, meaning we are not gaining the health, comfort, efficiency and environmental benefits that we could reasonably expect.”

“Energy efficiency is jobs-intensive and taps richly into local supply chains.” said ASBEC’s Executive Director, Suzanne Toumbourou. “The expansion of ARENA’s mandate creates a great opportunity to support this sector by backing the deployment of technologies to deliver energy productivity at scale through the built environment.”

“At a time when bill savings and consumer empowerment are more important than ever, we also welcome the Government’s decision to facilitate improved building energy efficiency through energy performance rating schemes for homes and non-residential buildings,” Ms Toumbourou said.

The King Review, commissioned by the Australian Government, outlined a series of low-cost emissions abatement opportunities across the Australian economy, including building energy ratings.

“Buildings offer one of the most cost-effective, jobs-rich opportunities for energy savings and emissions abatement, with broader benefits that we can’t afford to ignore,” said Prof Maher.

“The Government’s commitment to built environment energy productivity is the right priority right now and there is a big opportunity to do much more.” 

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