Executive director of ASBEC Suzanne Toumbourou this week advocated for more energy efficient homes and commercial buildings, believing that they can provide more resilience to extreme weather, less stress on the electricity grid and greater comfort. This all added to an imperative to act as soon as possible to improve energy performance in current buildings.

Looking forward, Toumbourou highlights that buildings built today “will still be operating in 2050, at a time when Australia will need to be at or near net zero emissions.”

“The measures outlined by the COAG Energy Council will set Australian buildings on a firm trajectory towards saving money on energy bills, lowering emissions, easing the strain on our energy infrastructure and being truly comfortable and safe in all extremes of the Australian climate.”

As the National Construction Code sets the minimum standard for new buildings across Australia, “it is the best place to start to improve building energy performance.”

The ‘Trajectory’ plan closely follows ASBEC and ClimateWorks’ recent report titled Built to Perform – An industry led pathway to a zero carbon ready building code. Advocates have argued that this path will provide certainty for the Australian construction industry as it makes long-term plans and chooses its technological investments.

ClimateWorks project manager Michael Li said, “Stronger energy standards in the Code could also relieve pressure on Australia’s ageing energy infrastructure, cutting electricity network costs by up to $12.6 billion between now and 2050.”

“These savings could be achieved through simple, cost-effective energy efficiency measures such as improved air tightness, double glazed windows, increased insulation, outdoor shading, and more efficient air conditioners, hot water systems and lighting.”