Frydenberg extends office energy program

The Federal Government has announced the Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) Scheme will be expanded to cover more buildings.

Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia Josh Frydenberg said the Turnbull Government’s promise to lower the threshold of the CBD program from 2000sqm to 1000sqm. This will see an additional 1000 commercial buildings disclose their energy efficiency ratings at the time of sale or lease.

Minister Frydenberg said this will “help inform purchasers and tenants of building energy costs, delivering more than $50 million in energy savings, and around 3.5 million tonnes of emission reductions over five years”.

The Energy Efficiency Council (EEC) CEO Luke Menzel said the move would easier for people who are buying or leasing offices to find out how efficient and comfortable they are.

Historically, it has been difficult to gauge how energy efficient offices are. Mr Menzel said this has reduced the incentive for building owners to make offices efficient, leaving tenants with higher energy bills and less comfortable workplaces.

“The CBD Scheme solves this problem by providing people with energy efficiency ratings for offices before they buy or lease them,” he said.

“The CBD Scheme was introduced in 2010 with support from all the major parties. A recent review by ACIL Allan of the first four years of the program found that it led to office upgrades that delivered over $72 million in energy and carbon savings. These upgrades also improved the comfort of offices, leading to over $160 million in benefits from improved staff productivity.”

Mr Menzel added the Commercial Building Disclosure Scheme is a “win-win-win”.

“It delivers lower energy bills for tenants, more productive staff and increases the value of Australian buildings. Expanding the Scheme is a sensible next step in efforts to make Australia’s workplaces more efficient, comfortable and productive,” he said.