Sydney Opera House partners with EnergyAustralia

EnergyAustralia managing director Catherine Tanna and Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron. Credit: Anna Kucera

The Sydney Opera House and its energy supplier EnergyAustralia have announced a major partnership to help the country’s pre-eminent performing arts centre and number one tourist destination deliver its Environmental Sustainability Plan (ESP).

Announced by the Opera House in August last year, the ESP outlines a series of long-term sustainability goals including carbon neutrality, a 5-Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia and 14 per cent energy savings.

Under the two-year partnership agreement, the Opera House and EnergyAustralia will collaborate with national science agency CSIRO on a new industry think tank.

The think tank will focus on delivering a strategy to enable the Opera House to achieve Net Zero (carbon neutral) certification by 2023 – a key objective of the Opera House’s ESP; and identifying and implementing sustainable energy solutions to be trialled by the Opera House as part of its long-term carbon-reduction strategy.

Through the partnership, it is hoped the national icon will become a test case for emerging technologies that could be adopted by households and organisations across Australia that want to operate in a more energy-efficient and sustainable way.

“As the symbol of modern Australia, the Opera House has the power to inspire and shape change,” NSW Minister for Energy and Utilities and Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said.

“Through its partnership with EnergyAustralia and collaboration with CSIRO, the Opera House will set a new standard in sustainable heritage buildings while encouraging the adoption of cleaner energy solutions more widely.

“This kind of collaboration is key to securing a more sustainable future for Australia and I would like to congratulate all those involved in this fantastic partnership.”

The first think tank, which took place last month, focused on key opportunities to help the Opera House meet its Net Zero and Green Star targets including sustainable and cost-effective ways to manage the Opera House’s peak energy use and optimise performance.

EnergyAustralia managing director Catherine Tanna said the partnership would do more than change the way energy is used in Australia’s biggest house.

“It will help address one of the most important challenges we face: delivering reliable, affordable and cleaner energy for all Australians, no matter where they live or how much they earn,” Ms Tanna said.

“We will apply what we learn and the technology developed through the partnership to helping homes across Australia to use energy in ways that are smarter, more efficient and more sustainable.”

The Opera House is also working with EnergyAustralia and CSIRO to establish a decision-making framework to determine which initiatives will have the optimal environmental impact.

The Opera House aims to finalise its Net Zero strategy and associated projects later this year.