In line with its commitment to the Paris and Kyoto Climate Change Agreements, the Australian Government released its Climate Solutions Package in February, which details its measures for lowering Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The Government will take these measures to the upcoming Federal Election in May.
A key point in the package is the Government’s statement that it will collaborate with industry and state and territory governments in introducing measures to improve the energy efficiency of commercial and residential buildings.
The Package also outlines other key measures to help households and businesses improve energy efficiency and lower energy bills. Such measures include:
- Expanding the Commercial Building Disclosure Program following current review. The current program requires energy efficiency information to be provided in most cases when commercial office space of 1000 square metres or more is offered for sale or lease. There is no indication of what expansion means.
- The National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) will be ‘improved.’ NABERS is used to measure a building’s energy efficiency, carbon emissions, the water consumed and the waste produced and compares it to similar buildings. There is no indication as to what ‘improved’ means.
- Support to small businesses for installing more energy efficient lighting, refrigeration and air conditioning.
- Expansion of the Energy Rating Label system to include gas heaters, electric heaters and reverse cycle air conditioners.
These measures will contribute to the Australian Government’s commitment to reduce Australia’s volume of emissions by 26 – 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030. In contrast, the ALP is promising a larger reduction of 45 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.
More information will be provided once further details of the measures are released.