Energy efficiency measures crucial to meeting climate commitments but more action needed

17 Sep 2020

Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) welcomes the Australian Government’s announcement today of $52.2 million in funding to increase the energy productivity of Australia’s buildings as a step in the right direction while urging more action to reduce emissions.

GBCA CEO Davina Rooney said energy efficiency measures are one of the most cost-effective emissions reduction investments governments can make.

“Meeting the global commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 means we need more investment in measures that address both the demand and supply side of the energy equation,” Ms Rooney said.

“This new funding to improve the energy productivity of Australian homes and businesses is very welcome and something we have long been advocating for.”

Ms Rooney applauded the continued funding for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) but encouraged the Government to realise the full potential from its plans to expand the remit of ARENA and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). 

“During the legislative process to update the mandates for ARENA and the CEFC we encourage the government to also strengthen the role these agencies can play in delivering emissions abatement through energy efficiency.

“While today’s announcements are headed in the right direction and support for more low emissions technology development is important, other policies and measures will be needed to drive the shift to a low emissions economy. 

“We hope to see the Australian Government supporting more of the initiatives that industry has called for, from a uniform energy rating system for homes, to stronger, more robust appliance standards.

“The built environment offers tremendous opportunities to achieve the dual objectives of job creation and emissions reductions. 

“Our joint report with the Property Council, Every Building Counts, highlighted how this can be done most effectively and at lowest cost in partnership with industry.

“We need to raise the bar at scale and across the board if we are going to make a real dent in the 23% of Australia’s emissions that come from our built environment. It is no longer enough for leading companies and households to do all the heavy lifting.

“The Australian Government’s support for community organisations in particular to lower their energy bills through building performance upgrades recognises this need and we urge them to continue further down this path.”