The New South Wales Government has released its Environmental Upgrade Agreement Template for commercial and industrial properties, a move the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) calls a win for the environment and a win for the construction industry.
The GBCA approached the then newly-elected O’Farrell in April about the environmental performance of existing buildings in the state, including those owned, occupied and/or maintained by the NSW Government.
“This new initiative demonstrates that the O’Farrell Government was listening to our call, and is a clear indicator of its commitment to environmental leadership,” said Romilly Madew, chief executive of the GBCA.
Environmental upgrade agreements provide a mechanism to secure low-risk finance for energy and water upgrades, which is attached to the land, not the building owner. The finance is repaid through council charges over time, and the costs recovered by the long-term savings on bills.
NSW Environment Minister Robyn Parker said the new scheme has the potential to unlock $2 billion worth of investment in environmental retrofits in existing NSW buildings.
“Visionary government leadership and existing building performance were two of the five green building priorities for NSW which the GBCA outlined before the state election. The NSW Government is showing a commitment to both with this announcement, and we applaud this commitment,” said Madew
“This new scheme provides the benchmarking and accountability for existing buildings that is needed right across Australia, and we look forward to seeing other state governments take up similar initiatives.”