Guide to owners to cut energy costs and emissions

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THE Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Property Council of Australia have launched a new guide to help property owners – from individual homes and apartments to office and commercial – cut their energy costs and emissions.

The guide, which can be downloaded by clicking here, looks at a broad range of proven technologies – from solar PV and batteries to heat pumps, off-site renewables and demand management systems – and indicates which are best suited for different property types. Importantly, it also looks at the business case for investment, giving owners and managers helpful insights into the likely benefits and payback periods.

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said this guide is about taking the hard work out of switching to clean energy solutions right across the property sector.

“Whether it’s individual homes, apartment developments or commercial, industrial and office buildings, with the right approach it’s possible to immediately cut energy consumption, cut energy costs and cut energy emissions.

“Together with the Property Council, we want to make smarter, cleaner energy the standard when it comes to Australia’s built environment. We’re confident that with more renewable energy and better energy efficiency measures, the property sector can achieve net zero emissions by 2050, with the potential to capture very significant energy savings in the process.”

Examples include a $3 million drop in annual electricity charges for Townsville’s James Cook University following the installation of thermal storage, and an 11% drop in power consumption at Sydney Markets, which boasts Australia’s largest private sector rooftop solar array.

An aged care facility is meeting up to half its hot water needs thanks to a solar hot water system and Monash University in Melbourne is on track to substantially cut its gas consumption thanks to new energy efficient heat pumps.

Property Council chief executive Ken Morrison said rising wholesale energy costs and uncertainty regarding policy and market settings has resulted in unprecedented cost pressures for households and businesses.

“This guide is designed to drive an industry-wide understanding of the opportunity as well as provide practical advice on business case preparation and implementation of clean energy technology for property,” he added.

Highlights from the guide include:

  1. For homes, all the technologies are in the lowest investment range, up to a maximum $25,000, with upfront costs expected to be recovered in under nine years.
  2. While investment costs for large-scale commercial and retail properties can exceed $100,000, in the case of solar PV the payback period is four years.
  3. The highest upfront investment costs, potentially of more than $500,000, included thermal storage installations for commercial, retail and industrial buildings, which can substantially reduce exposure to peak electricity prices. However, the payback period of 15 years or less complements the relatively long lives of these large-scale scale and complex structures.

Australian Property Journal