Tenants able to select efficient buildings 02 November 2010

Energy efficiency experts welcomed the start of a new environmental program, the ‘Commercial Building Disclosure’ (CBD) program on 1November 2010.

“For the first time, people looking for office space will be able to tell which buildings are star performers and which buildings are energy guzzlers. This will help transform Australia’s buildings into lean, comfortable offices that are fit for the 21st century,” said Rob Murray- Leach, CEO of the Energy Efficiency Council.

The CBD program means that when building owners lease or sell office space over 2,000m2 they have to assess the efficiency of the building and tell prospective buyers and tenants.

“The Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) program is plain common sense – it’s about helping tenants to know if a building is up to scratch. The CBD program is as much about consumer protection as it is about cutting greenhouse gasses,” said Rob Murray-Leach.

Greening offices will deliver a major win-win for business and the environment. Retrofitting Australia’s existing commercial buildings could save the economy $1.4 billion a year, cut building emissions by 30 per cent and create 27,000 jobs over the next decade.

“The CBD program is a great example of political parties working together to deliver real outcomes. The Howard Government proposed this program in 2004, Labor have done a lot of work on it over the last three years, and the Coalition and Greens helped make sure that the details in the legislation were right,” said Rob Murray-Leach.

“Energy efficiency makes sense in every way – for households, for business and for the environment. The basic point is ‘Why waste a valuable resource?’ That’s why Labor, the Greens and the Coalition all support energy efficiency,” said Rob Murray-Leach.

“This program is a great start, but we have a lot of work to do to make Australia more efficient. Australia is one of the least efficient developed countries in the world, and this is a competitive disadvantage for our economy” said Rob Murray-Leach.

This Energy Efficiency Council calls for all sides of politics to support critical energy efficiency policies that were proposed in the Prime Minister’s Task Group on Energy Efficiency, including:

  • A target to improve energy efficiency across the whole Australian economy
  • A national Energy Savings Initiative or grant scheme to provide incentives for energy efficiency, particularly in industry. This scheme could reduce electricity prices by 6 per cent and cut red tape by replacing a number of smaller state-based schemes.
  • Ensuring that electricity distributors invest in energy efficiency and distributed generation when it’s cheaper than building new poles and wires.
  • Governments investing to improve the efficiency of their own operations.

“This program is a great first step. We need to make some big changes to make Australia energy efficient, and this program is a step in the right direction” said Rob Murray-Leach

The Energy Efficiency Council is the peak body for energy efficiency in industry and commercial buildings.