NCC – Energy Efficiency Provisions
The building sector is a significant contributor and one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Energy used in buildings accounts for approximately 20% of all energy related GHG emissions. Consequently the industry has an extremely important role in contributing to the abatement of Australia's GHG emissions and in delivering economic, as well as social and environmental benefits to the community.
Since 2006, the BCA has contained energy efficiency measures for all building classifications. The inclusion of energy efficiency measures in the BCA is part of a comprehensive strategy being undertaken by the Australian, State and Territory Governments to reduce GHG emissions. These provisions apply to all classification of buildings covered in the NCC and a timeline showing the introduction and stringency increases is outlined in the figure below.
The ABCB has produced information handbooks to assist BCA users in understanding the energy efficiency provisions. In addition, the ABCB has developed a series of Awareness Resource Kits to assist training providers. Modules 3 and 4 relate to the energy efficiency provisions in the BCA.
National Strategy on Energy Efficiency (NSEE)
In 2009, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to the final measures for the NSEE, which is designed to substantially improve the levels of energy efficiency across the Australian economy. A major section of the NSEE is devoted to improving the energy efficiency of Australia’s building stock. Measure 3.1.1 of the NSEE sets out the key elements of the outcomes-based national building energy standard-setting, assessment and rating framework (‘the Framework’) that jurisdictions have committed to developing.
The Framework has three key components:
- Providing a pathway, implemented primarily through the BCA, for increasing the stringency of the minimum performance requirements for new buildings and renovations;
- Providing consistent, accurate and understandable methodologies for assessing and for publicly communicating the energy efficiency (and other sustainability elements over time) of new and existing buildings; and
- Enhancing governance arrangements for building energy assessments, ratings and standard setting.
It is expected that a decision regarding implementation of the Framework will be announced by COAG in 2013. If directed by Government, the ABCB will commence work to address possible incremental stringency increases under the NSEE. Further information regarding the Framework can be found on the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) website.