Better buildings urgently needed to drive down energy bills and cut carbon 03 July 2018
The Energy Efficiency Council has welcomed a new report “Built to Perform”, which concludes that there is a an urgent need for governments to act to upgrade Australia’s National Construction Code to put downward pressure on energy bills.
The report, produced by the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) in partnership with ClimateWorks Australia, finds that Australia need stronger targets and regulations to deliver energy bill savings, reduce stress on the Australia’s energy grid and deliver cost effective emissions reductions.
Council CEO Luke Menzel said that the report shows Australia can’t afford not to act.
“Upgrading minimum energy standards for new buildings would have an incredible cumulative impact by 2050, reducing energy bills by up to $27 billion, network costs by up to $7 billion and deliver at least 78 million tonnes of cumulative emissions savings.”
“In the wake of last week’s news from ACEEE that Australia is last in the developed world on energy efficiency policy and performance, this is tangible action that government can take now to turn that ranking around, and put downward pressure on energy bills around the country.”
Improved energy efficiency requirements could reduce new building energy use by up to 56% through the use of simple measures such as more airtight buildings, higher levels of insulation, more shading, ceiling fans and light-coloured walls (in warmer climates), and increased efficiency standards for lights, hot water equipment and air conditioning units.
Professor Tony Arnel, Chair of ASBEC’s Building Code Task Group and President of the Energy Efficiency Council, said that setting a trajectory for how energy standards will improve over time is crucial.
“If developers and manufacturers know how the Code requirements will evolve over the next 15 years, this will provide the regulatory certainty industry needs to plan and invest in new technologies, delivering higher building energy performance at lower cost,” said Professor Arnel.
Delaying action will mean that many of these opportunities are lost. The report shows that a three-year delay in further upgrades to building energy performance standards could lead to a further $2.6 billion in wasted energy expenditure to 2030 and lock in 9 million tonnes of emissions to 2030, increasing to 22 million tonnes by 2050.
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