Government priorities




Data from the department shows buildings account for around 19% of total energy use and 18% of direct carbon emissions in Australia.

Energy efficiency in buildings plays an important role for households, businesses and the wider economy. Improving energy efficiency can:

  • reduce energy bills
  • improve the comfort and health of occupants
  • ensure energy security and affordability
  • reduce the risk of blackouts by reducing peak demand
  • lower carbon emissions.

The Australian Government supports the establishment of standards, programs and other innovative measures to improve energy efficiency in commercial, residential and government buildings.

Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB)

The ABCB is the standards-writing body responsible for development of the National Construction Code (NCC). The ABCB is a joint initiative of all 3 levels of government in Australia.

Building Code Calculator

The Australian Government commissioned development of a Building Code Calculator to estimate emissions reduction and energy savings from future changes to the NCC. The calculator is in the form of an Excel spreadsheet and accompanied by a report. 

Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD)

CBD is a national program which requires sellers and lessors of commercial office spaces over 1000m² to provide energy efficiency information to prospective buyers and tenants.

Energy Efficiency in Government Operations (EEGO)

The EEGO policy aims to improve energy efficiency, and consequently reduce the whole-of-life cost and environmental impact of government operations. A management framework incorporates energy efficiency standards into Australian Government leases and other procurement activities.

National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS)

NABERS is a voluntary rating system that measures a commercial building’s sustainability performance. NABERS is run by the NSW Government on behalf of the Australian Government and state and territory governments.

National Construction Code (NCC)

The NCC balances the building and construction sector’s needs with performance standards. It sets minimum requirements for buildings to achieve safety and health, amenity and accessibility, and sustainability. State and territory governments have legislation that gives legal effect to the NCC.

Under the National Energy Productivity Plan (NEPP), Energy Ministers agreed to consider opportunities to increase minimum requirements in the NCC to achieve better energy efficiency outcomes for Australia’s buildings. After focusing on commercial building energy efficiency in NCC 2019, the main emphasis of the NCC 2022 energy efficiency work was on residential buildings.

However, important changes affecting commercial buildings were also included in the new NCC 2022 Energy Efficiency and Condensation management provisions. NCC2025 will include a focus on further improvements to the commercial building energy efficiency provisions.

Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS)

NatHERS is a star rating system (out of 10) that rates the energy efficiency of a home, based on its design. NatHERS estimates a home’s heating and cooling energy use to help residents save on energy bills through smarter design choices.

Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings

The Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings (the Trajectory) is a joint Commonwealth, state and territory national plan that aims to achieve zero energy and carbon-ready commercial and residential buildings in Australia. It is a key initiative to address Australia’s 40% energy productivity improvement target by 2030 under the National Energy Productivity Plan (NEPP).


Your Home is Australia’s most comprehensive guide to sustainable homes. It was developed in a partnership between the Australian Government and the building/design industry to give independent and expert advice on how to build, buy or renovate a sustainable home.

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Commercial buildings

Residential buildings

Government buildings

Energy data 

Energy efficiency guide for building owners and tenants

Energy efficiency advice for householders

Building and construction standards

Green Building Council of Australia