Overview and Key Issues

ICANZ is active in providing information and offering support in the development of measures to improve the energy efficiency of Australian Buildings.

Federal Government

The Commonwealth Government’s Securing Australia’s Energy Future White Paper on energy policy, was released in June 2000. The document states that Improving Australia’s energy efficiency performance is a key part of the government’s plans to deliver prosperity and sustainability from energy.

According to the White Paper, increasing the uptake of commercially attractive energy efficiency opportunities would deliver substantial economic and environmental benefits. Estimates complied for the National Framework for Energy Efficiency (NFEE) process show that implementing half of all energy efficiency opportunities with a payback of four years or less could, if commercial, increase GDP by $975 million a year and reduce greenhouse emissions by around 10 million tonnes a year. This compares with projected GDP benefits of $630 million a year from reforms in the energy market to encourage better demand management from energy users.

State Government

Through COAG (Council of Australian Governments) a cooperative arrangement between Australia’s state and federal governments includes the development of the national building code is directed through the Australian Building Codes Board on which each state has representative voting powers.

However, the execution of building efficiency regulation and policy is largely a state jurisdiction which includes local government planning regulation.

As such ICANZ is proactive in working with state governments to achieve improved energy efficiency in our commercial and residential buildings.

While the introduction of the new 6-Star BCA in May 2010, will help to ensure that these benefits continue to be delivered at no further cost for the life of the buildings (typically 60 years), many older buildings, a major portion of Australia’s building stock, remain uninsulated and consume more energy in heating and cooling.

A recent study (2012) commissioned by ICANZ found that there remains a significant number of existing homes without insulation and a much larger number of homes under-insulated.

One of the barriers to retro-fitting is that many uninsulated homes are rental properties, so the cost savings from reduced energy consumption do not flow to the owner but to the tenant.  This is the area where the market has clearly failed to deliver energy efficiency reform and where ICANZ believes government intervention is well justified.

 

Submissions

ICANZ also authors submissions regarding policy and Government decisions.

View Submissions