Australian Commercial Porperty Owners Turn to Energy Efficiency

AUSTRALIAN property owners, managers and listed property trusts are faced with rocketing energy prices, new regulations and an upcoming price on carbon.

Property owners and managers are now asking how bad this situation will get, with most concluding that the energy price increases alone justify further or new investment into energy efficiency solutions to counteract the cost rises?

It is predicted that commercial properties on Australia’s east coast are due to suffer a 25 percent increase in electricity prices during the current financial year. With the TheAustralian.com claiming that the cities of Perth and Darwin can only scoff at these modest figures.

Apart from the energy price rise there is a potential 20 to 25 percent extra increase in prices from Australia’s proposed carbon trading scheme which could come into effect from July 2012, providing another major blow to the commercial property sector along with most parts of the countries economy.

TheAustralian.com says: “Property owners and managers can see this perfect storm approaching and are dusting off old energy efficiency proposals that were once unfeasible, but in the new environment are suddenly looking cost-effective.”

The Australian Prime Minister's taskforce on energy efficiency reported at the end of 2010 that in their opinion the Australian commercial property sector should be able to reduce energy use by 30 percent.

Experience shows that 10 to 15 percent energy saving in most commercial buildings can be achieved with little or smaller capital investment, often helped by behavioural change and workforce engagement, and simple energy saving initiatives, such as turning off equipment and lights when no longer needed.

To reach 30 percent or more, require more investment. Retrofits of energy saving technology and solutions, can often deliver payback in less than three years.

The investment often involves replacing light bulbs, adding lighting management, the installation of intelligent motor energy controllers, upgrades to air-conditioning and energy management and monitoring systems.

Many just look at the benefits of reducing ever rising energy costs, yes saving money, but they often miss the point that is also wins business. TheAustralian.com state, that: “If done properly energy efficiency programmes can generate additional revenue for a property by lowering tenant energy bills and attracting better tenants, or tenants that place a premium on energy efficiency and green-building credentials.”

Picture by Christopher Neugebauer

Thursday 28th April 2011


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