Improving the energy and emissions performance of buildings

Last updated: 1 July 2020

This is a funding program that includes:

  • NABERS
  • yourhome
  • CBD
  • nathers

As part of the Climate Solutions Package, the Australian Government is delivering an additional $10.5 millipon in 2019-20 to improve the energy efficiency of Australian buildings. This includes $3.4 million to improve the energy efficiency of both new and existing homes, and $7.1 million to improve the energy efficiency of commercial buildings.

Building energy effiicency provides one of the least cost abatement options to support Australai's emissions reduction efforts, delivering up to 30 million tonnes in emissions reductions by 2030.  New funding will support the implementation of the Council of Australian Governments Energy Council's Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings, which is a roadmap to deliver a range of energy efficient improvements for both new and existing buildings. The Australian Government will develop best practice information, training and tools that help the transition to low energy homes, including through updates to the Your Home resource (yourhome.gov.au) and the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (nathers.gov.au).  

New funding will include the expansion of the National Australian Built Environment Energy Ratings System (NABERS) (nabers.gov.au) and consider the expansion of the Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) program (cbd.gov.au) following the current review of the program.  

The CBD program requires owners to advertise the NABERS office energy rating of an office building greater than 1000 square metres when it is offered for lease or sale. Funding will support NABERS to expand its voluntary energy rating tools to include more building types, such as schools, retail stores and industrial buildings. The new NABERS online tool will reduce the cost of ratings through streamlining processes and automatic energy data collection. Disclosing the energy efficiency of a building provides potential owners or tenants with consistent and meaningful information about a building’s performance, making it easier for them to make an informed decision.   

The CBD program was reviewed in 2015 and found to be effective at motivating owners of poorly performing office buildings to improve the energy efficiency of those buildings, delivering $44 million in net benefits in its first four years.  The current review is considering whether to expand mandatory disclosure of energy performance to other high energy using classes of commercial building, such as hotels, data centres, office tenancies and shopping centres.  The Australian Government will also develop new information, online tools and case studies for industry on how to upgrade building performance, saving owners and tenants energy and reducing their energy bills. Funding will be provided to develop a stock model and energy use baseline study for non-residential buildings in Australia to chart current and future energy use patterns.

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End uses covered
  • Building end-uses
  • Building systems
  • Building envelope