The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency has
released a public discussion paper for the National Building
Energy Standard-Setting, Assessment and Rating Framework.
Future policies and initiatives will stem from this Framework,
making it an important community document that warrants
consideration and contribution by stakeholders. At the very least,
reading the discussion paper will give stakeholders an idea as to
where the Federal Government is heading with sustainable building
As the Framework is in the consultation process, the Department
is calling for comments on any matter in the discussion paper or on
the Framework generally. Submissions close at 5.00pm on Friday 7
What is the National Building Energy Standard-Setting,
Assessment and Rating Framework?
The Framework forms part of the National Strategy on Energy
Efficiency, formulated by the Council of Australian
Governments in July 2009. The Council of Australian Governments has
identified this Framework as one of the two major schemes that will
help Australia meet its climate change goals - the other being the
Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.
The Framework will be the foundation policy document that sets
out a unified approach to energy efficiency assessments, ratings
and standards for buildings, to improve the energy efficiency of
residential and commercial buildings and to correct market
failures. Eventually, the Framework may be extended to include
buildings' greenhouse gas emissions and water performance.
The Framework is intended to:
set building energy efficiency standards to improve energy
efficiency in new residential and commercial buildings; and
address the assessment methods and rating of buildings to
improve market failures - for example, knowledge of energy
efficiency at point of sale or lease.
Setting building energy efficiency standards
The stated goals of the Framework in setting building energy
efficiency standards are as follows:
Set increasingly stringent minimum performance standards over
time for new buildings and major renovations, with standards to be
reviewed and increased periodically - for example, every three
Use the Building Code of Australia to implement the standards
required of new building work. It is intended that a nationally
consistent performance based assessment system will be in place by
the end of 2011.
Allow innovation in meeting defined performance standards. By
allowing innovation, new technologies will be developed in
expectation that standards will become more stringent over
Facilitate effective monitoring and compliance.
Assessing and rating buildings
The stated goals of the Framework for assessing and rating
buildings include to:
work towards a measurement based rating tool for existing
residential and commercial buildings;
work towards a predictive/modelling based rating tool for new
residential and commercial buildings;
communicate energy efficiency improvements through star
include flexibility to account for climatic variation over
accommodate mandatory disclosure of energy performance at time
of sale and lease.
The public discussion paper can be downloaded from the
Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency's
Consultation forums have been held in all capital cities
throughout April. A representative of HopgoodGanim Lawyers attended
the Brisbane Consultation Forum on 23 April 2010. The speakers at
the Forum emphasised that the framework is still very much in a
preliminary stage, and that it raises more questions than it
The overview of the framework provided a broadbrush indication
of options and considerations, and although the discussion was
lively, the response from government representatives primarily
consisted of an acknowledgement that the issues raised were being
or would be taken into account.
While submissions on the framework close on Friday 7 May 2010,
it was indicated that, given the short timeframe, late submissions
may be considered if the submitting party contacts the Department
in advance and makes arrangements.
HopgoodGanim Lawyers is offering to review submissions, free of
charge, before you lodge them with the Department. If you would
like to take advantage of this service, please forward your
submissions to one of our Climate Change team members.
The Council announced planning policies to encourage more inner suburban retirement village and aged care development.
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