18 December 2018
The Liberal Nationals Government has initiated an independent review of the Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) program to consider expanding it from office buildings to other high energy using buildings.
The Australian commercial buildings sector is a significant energy user, using 25 per cent of total electricity consumption.
The independent review will consider whether to expand mandatory disclosure of energy use into other high energy-using buildings such as data centres, office tenancies, hotels and shopping centres.
For example, data centres use 10 times more energy than office buildings. If other building sectors improved the energy efficiency of their buildings, they could reduce their energy costs, lower greenhouse gas emissions and minimise pressure on the electricity grid.
The review will consider whether the program is effective, whether to expand it, and the impact of changes implemented since the last review in 2015.
An independent consultant will be engaged to undertake the review in consultation with key stakeholders and will provide recommendations to the Australian Government on the CBD program’s direction in 2019.
The CBD Program is a key light touch energy efficiency regulatory program targeting office energy use. It currently requires disclosure of the energy use of large and mid-sized office buildings with floor space over 1000m2 in sale or lease advertising. Informing potential buyers and lessees of the star rating of the floor space creates a market-incentive for owners to improve the energy efficiency of their properties.
A 2015 review of the CBD Program found it to be effective at motivating owners of poorly performing office buildings to improve the energy efficiency of those buildings, delivering $44 million in net benefits in its first four years.
This builds on the Liberal National Government’s strong plan for affordable, reliable power, including taking a ‘big stick’ to the energy companies to crack down on the dodgy practices, creating a price safety net to protect customers, backing investment in reliable generation and supporting reliable power by requiring energy companies to sign contracts guaranteeing enough energy to meet demand.
Information on the CBD program is at www.energy.gov.au/government-priorities/energy-productivity-and-energy-efficiency/commercial-building-disclosure