Sydney buildings to save 30% of energy by 2030

Friday, 21 August, 2015

Sydney buildings to save 30% of energy by 2030

City of Sydney councillors have approved a final version of the Energy Efficiency Master Plan. The plan shows that by 2030, Sydney’s building sector could save 31% of its energy use — even with an expected 29% increase in floor space.

In developing the master plan, the City conducted a detailed analysis of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions for the city’s buildings. The research has led to a range of actions, including:

  • safeguarding energy and emissions savings by maintaining existing core programs and standards;
  • improving compliance of building standards and codes;
  • providing education and training for planners, property owners, tenants, building managers and assessors;
  • improving energy efficiency in buildings through retrofit and tune-up programs;
  • making it easier to access finance and incentives for improved energy efficiency;
  • developing new energy-efficiency ratings;
  • increasing minimum performance of new buildings;
  • improving equity by advocating on behalf of low-income households; and
  • showing by doing, through best practice for City-owned buildings.

The City has already retrofitted 45 of its properties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 29%, generating operational savings of over $1 million a year. According to Lord Mayor Clover Moore, implementing the Energy Efficiency Master Plan would be another step in the city-wide slashing of carbon emissions.

“The research underpinning our plan shows that while it will cost almost $400 million to implement measures to increase energy efficiency, the savings in energy use will be more than $600 million, meaning a net benefit of more than $200 million by 2030,” the Lord Mayor said.

Approval of the master plan comes as state and federal governments step up efforts to increase energy efficiency, with the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council currently backing a move to increase Australia’s energy productivity by up to 40% by 2030. This decision has been welcomed by Moore, who said the idea of a national energy productivity plan “reflects many aspects of our own plan to make more efficient use of energy”.

The master plan’s adoption also coincides with international recognition of the City’s efforts to improve energy efficiency in buildings. The US-based Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance is giving the City $60,000 to fund a project to make high-rise apartment blocks energy neutral.

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