New commercial building disclosure scheme will drive energy efficiency in buildings

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The new federal commercial office building disclosure scheme will help drive the transition to energy efficient buildings, says the GBCA.

The Chief Executive of the GBCA, Romilly Madew, has welcomed the bipartisan support for the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Bill 2010, which was passed by the Lower House last night.

Pending approval in the Senate, building owners and lessors will be required to disclose an up-to-date Building Energy Efficiency Certificate when they sell, lease or sub-lease office space of more than 2,000 square metres.

"We applaud the Australian Government's strong leadership in proposing the Commercial Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Scheme, which will provide a clear direction for building owners and tenants," Ms Madew says.

"Disclosing this rating will ensure companies have access to consistent and meaningful information about a building's performance, making it easier for them to purchase or rent more energy efficient office space.

"What's more, these measures will provide strong market-based incentives for owners to improve their properties with cost-effective energy efficient upgrades, which will in turn increase their return on investment."

Research by the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) and the Centre for International Economics has found that the residential and commercial building sector is responsible for 23 per cent of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions.

At the same time, electricity use in residential and commercial buildings can be halved by 2030 through energy efficiency measures alone. The United Nations Environment Programme has stated that 'no other sector has such a high potential for drastic emission reductions'.

"The GBCA believes that measuring and reporting energy efficiency is a solid first step, and we will continue to work with the Australian Government to ensure other building types and metrics are introduced into the scheme over time," Ms Madew concludes.