Highlights of the National Strategy on Energy Efficiency

01 Jul 2009Archived News Publications

Energetics has summarised key elements of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) National Strategy on Energy Efficiency, released earlier this week.

 

The establishment of a National Strategy on Energy Efficiency (the Strategy) and the recognition that over 50% of carbon savings by 2020 will come from energy efficiency represents a significant step forward, however some important elements are missing from the Strategy. There are several key areas left for further study, and the scale of funding support for business sector energy efficiency is certainly not yet adequate to assist business to transition to a low carbon future. Energetics will continue to lobby for better outcomes for the business sector.

The Strategy is designed to substantially improve minimum energy efficiency standards for equipment, and accelerate the introduction of new technologies. It incorporates and builds on measures already agreed by COAG and the Ministerial Council on Energy (MCE) through the National Framework on Energy Efficiency (NFEE).

The measures in the Strategy are framed around four key themes
1. Assisting households and businesses to 'transition to a low-carbon future'
2. Reducing impediments to the uptake of energy efficiency
3. Making buildings more energy efficient
4. Government partnership and leadership

Key components that may be of interest to Energetics' clients

  • Commitment to the continuation of the Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) program, including extending elements of the program to smaller energy using companies, and ultimately streamlining with State/ Territory programs.
  • Provision of support to fund energy efficiency assessments in selected industry sectors via the Climate Change Action Fund (CCAF). Energetics is already working with our clients to take full advantage of this $200M program in 2009/10, even before the final program design is complete (which should be by the end of July).
  • Seed funding through an Energy Efficiency Trust (the Australian Carbon Trust) to demonstrate innovative funding models and projects in existing commercial buildings and other business operations. We will also be looking for opportunities to utilise funding from this program with our clients.
  • The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) Demand Side Participation Review is tasked with identifying obstacles in the rules to efficient demand-side participation and options for addressing these barriers. Energetics believes that too little is being done in this area by government, and that the AEMC activity is unlikely to provide the solutions. By not driving the electricity industry to invest preferentially in demand management, energy efficiency and distributed generation, our clients are facing the costs of new utility investments in infrastructure that may ultimately become stranded assets. We are joining with our clients to challenge some of the recent network price increases, particularly in NSW.
  • Proposals from industry will be sought for a $100M smart grid trial in the coming months. Energetics is seeking to incorporate business sector demand management and cogeneration into this trial.
  • Potential expansion of the current Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) and labelling program into the industrial equipment sector to cover off-the-shelf products in areas such as: compressors, boilers, industrial chillers, pumps and fans, heat exchangers and refrigeration equipment. MEPS changes to commercial building chillers and close-control air conditioners will be subject to regulatory impact analysis processes. Implementation is scheduled to commence in July 2009.
  • Introducing voluntary measures to improve the performance of heavy vehicle fleets.
  • Phase-in from 2010 the mandatory disclosure of the energy efficiency of commercial buildings at the time of sale or lease.
    • Phase one: implement by mid 2010 a national mandatory disclosure scheme for large commercial office buildings (2,000m² or larger). To also cover commercial office buildings owned or leased by Australian, state and territory governments.
    • Phase two: consideration of expanding mandatory disclosure to other building types, including hotels, retail, schools and hospitals by 2012.
  • Develop a national building energy standard setting, assessment and rating framework to be implemented in 2011. This framework will:
    • apply to new and existing building stock
    • cover all classes of commercial and residential buildings
    • work towards convergence of existing, measurement based rating tools (such as NABERS Energy) for existing buildings with predictive or modelling based tools used for rating new buildings
    • be capable of extension over time to cover broader sustainability elements, including water management and greenhouse gas emissions and the maintenance of energy efficiency performance through commissioning, operation and maintenance of buildings
  • Over time significantly increasing the stringency of energy efficiency provisions for all commercial buildings (Class three, and five to nine) in the Building Code of Australia (BCA), starting with the 2010 version of the BCA, (subject to regulatory impact analysis);

A package of energy efficiency measures for implementation in 2010, for new buildings and major new work in existing buildings, which meets a benefit to cost ratio of 2:1. Note that the last BCA update included a package of commercial buildings energy efficiency measures with a benefit to cost ratio of 5:1.

  • Tightening the energy efficiency measures such that the regulatory impact analysis of the energy efficiency package comes in at 2:1 represents a significant strengthening of standards.
  • New efficiency provisions for heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and for artificial lighting.

 

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