Non-residential buildings include commercial buildings such as shops, hotels, restaurants, and offices, industrial buildings, schools and hospitals. They are responsible for approximately 10 per cent of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions.
Building owners and tenants are realising that energy efficiency has many business benefits. It offers a cost-effective way to manage rising energy prices, increase productivity and reduce operating costs. It can also increase the value of your property and attract higher rentals returns.
Government energy efficiency programs
The Australian Government’s energy efficiency measures are designed to make it easier for building owners and tenants to make informed choices about their energy use and invest in better buildings and equipment.
The Australian Government is working with state and territory governments to implement the following measures:
- Minimum energy performance requirements for new buildings and major refurbishment. The National Construction Code now includes energy efficiency measures for all building classifications.
- Energy ratings for commercial buildings. The National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) rates buildings from zero to six stars, with six stars representing exceptional greenhouse performance and resource efficiency. NABERS is run by the Office of the Environment and Heritage on behalf of Australian, state and territory governments. Find out how to self-assess your building for free, or find a professional to conduct an accredited rating.
- Commercial Building Disclosure 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 standards and energy ratings for appliances and equipment, including labelling to enable building owners and tenants to compare appliances and equipment and find the most energy efficient products.
- Green leases for the private commercial sector, including a handbook and guides to assist the uptake of Green Leases for the private sector.
Improving government operations
To improve our own operations, the Australian Government is implementing the Energy Efficiency in Government Operations (EEGO) Policy which comprises three major elements:
- Energy targets for office buildings tenanted by the Government.
- Minimum energy performance standards for government tenanted office buildings, appliances and vehicles
- Annual reporting of energy performance by agencies.
Green leases for government tenancies
A national Green Lease Schedule has been developed which sets minimum energy efficiency standards for government office leasing.
Commercial Building Baseline Study
The Australian Government in collaboration with state and territory governments has developed a Commercial Buildings Baseline Study, which aims to improve the availability of quantitative information on commercial buildings in Australia, their energy use and associated greenhouse emissions.
- A Guide to Best Practice Maintenance and Operation of HVAC Systems for Energy Efficiency.
- Energy Efficiency Exchange helps companies to understand their energy use and identify energy saving opportunities.
Calculating Cool helps building managers and maintenance contractors to benchmark their HVAC energy efficiency performance and management practices.