New policy would drive major energy efficiency gains

The Property Council of Australia welcomes the ALP’s new policy to encourage business investment in energy efficiency opportunities announced today.

Chief Executive Ken Morrison said the Australian Investment Guarantee would be a powerful tool for accelerating energy efficiency gains across different industries, but especially in the built environment.

“The built environment may not be top of mind when we think about big energy users but the fact is that buildings account for 23 per cent of Australia’s emissions and over half of our electricity consumption,” Mr Morrison said.

“Bringing forward investment in energy saving equipment to improve the performance of our buildings would have a huge impact on energy use and emissions.

“The long lifespan of our buildings means that this benefit would be felt for decades.

“We welcome Federal Labor’s announcement of this policy and the potential it has to help reduce costs for consumers.

“What is being proposed is a simple, effective and immediate incentive to spur more investment in eligible energy efficient assets.

“For years we have been calling on the Federal government to introduce green depreciation as a way to accelerate the uptake of energy upgrades to existing commercial buildings at the time of refurbishment and that’s exactly what this policy will do.

“Demand side initiatives have enormous potential to help address the transition of the electricity sector to a low emissions future.

“We know from ASBEC and ClimateWorks Australia’s research that adopting a broad suite of energy efficiency measures in the built environment could deliver almost $20 billion in savings by 2030. Buildings could also meet over half of the national energy productivity target and more than one quarter of the national emissions target.

“Australian property companies lead the world on sustainability generally, but we recognise that we can do better and do more, especially on the energy efficiency front.

“Initiatives like this one would be embraced by our industry and are particularly timely with property owners now facing unprecedented pressures from the cost of energy and are actively looking for ways to reduce their bills. The cheapest energy is the energy you don’t have to use so energy efficiency opportunities are naturally top of the list.”

Media contact:  Fiona Benson | M 0407 294 620 |  E fbenson@propertycouncil.com.au