AIRAH gives ‘green’ light to CBD scheme

12 September 2016

Australia’s most energy efficient property sector is commercial offices, according to the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating (AIRAH).

This is in large part thanks to drivers like the government’s Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) efficiency initiative.

AIRAH is throwing its support behind the CBD program, following a recent announcement that it’s set to expand. The expansion of the program will involve changes like a sharp reduction in building area threshold, shifting from 2000 square metres down to 1000 square metres (from 1 July 2017).

As a result, an estimated additional 1000 commercial buildings will be required to disclose their energy performance data during sales or lease transactions.

This mandatory provision of efficiency information to potential buyers or tenants will result in over $50 million in energy savings, according to the government.

One of the key impacts of programs like CBD has been in positively shifting market players’ mentality around energy efficiency. “Basically as a result of CBD and other drivers, building owners and the market are beginning to ‘value’ energy efficiency, and building tenants are beginning to demand it,” says Tony Gleeson, CEO of the country’s peak body for HVAC.

However while the commercial office sector is looking up, other sub-sectors are not keeping up. “Progress has been slow outside the market leaders,” says Gleeson. “Overall energy intensity [has improved] by only 2 per cent across the commercial sector and 5 per cent in residential over the past 10 years,” he says.

“Expanding CBD or introducing other mandatory disclosure schemes will help to drive improvements in the property sector more broadly.

“AIRAH believes the ultimate aim should be for all buildings to have an energy efficiency rating/benchmarking system, and for all buildings to have an HVAC&R efficiency rating also.”


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