The Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings (the Trajectory) is a 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.
The Trajectory was developed and endorsed by the former Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council. In February 2019, the Trajectory for new buildings was agreed. In November 2019, the Addendum to the Trajectory for existing buildings (Trajectory Addendum) was agreed.
The Trajectory and the Trajectory Addendum outline policies to deliver cost-effective energy efficiency improvements to homes and businesses. The aim of the policies are to:
- lower energy bills
- contribute to energy security and affordability
- reduce carbon emissions
- improve people’s comfort and health
- reduce wastage for the wider economy
- assist in lowering peak demand.
Consultation for both residential and commercial buildings Trajectory work began in December 2017 with the inaugural stakeholder reference group (SRG) workshop.
The SRG has grown to over 600 members representing:
- energy consumers
- the energy-efficiency sector
- the building and property sector
- the appliance and technology sector
- the energy supply sector
- gas suppliers
- environmental organisations
- energy consultants
- the Australian Government
- state and territory governments.
Trajectory for Low Energy Existing Commercial Buildings
The Australian Government commissioned Ernst & Young (EY) with contributions from Strategy Policy Research and ClimateWorks Australia to consider a range of policy options. Extensive stakeholder engagement was conducted in 2019.
The report sets out practical options that informed the COAG Energy Council’s plan for achieving its zero energy and carbon objectives.
Trajectory for Low Energy Existing Homes
Officials of the former COAG Energy Council, with extensive input from the SRG, developed a report that identified potential policies to improve the energy efficiency of existing homes. Opportunities included improved energy efficiency at various stages of an existing home’s life, such as when it is bought, sold, leased or renovated.
The report sets out practical options that informed the Trajectory Addendum for achieving zero energy (and carbon) ready existing homes.
Residential Buildings – Energy Ratings and Tools
To progress the Trajectory commitment to deliver a home energy rating framework for existing homes which leverages the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS), a Scoping Report was developed.
The report found the option to extend NatHERS to existing homes, while continuing to test and learn from the Victorian Residential Efficiency Scorecard, is the most efficient and effective use of resources.
The National Scorecard Initiative will facilitate a nationally consistent approach for assessing existing homes. This voluntary 'in home' assessment is extending NatHERS to all homes. It was first piloted nationally in 2019 and further trialled in 2021.
The National Scorecard Initiative is expected to be fully accredited and phased into NatHERS in 2022. Until this occurs, all elements of the initiative will continue to be delivered by the Victorian Government on behalf of all Australian governments. This includes the assessment tool, assessor training and assessor accreditation.