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Australia lags behind on energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is a simple way to cut bills and improve productivity. It’s good for business and it’s good for the environment.

Last week, news broke that Australia is falling behind on its energy efficiency performance. In a report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Australia was ranked last among major developed countries. Notably, Australia also scored worse than a number of developing countries including India, China and Indonesia.

Australia’s poor performance was described as “a wake-up call” by Luke Menzel, CEO of Australia’s Energy Efficiency Council. “Our global competitors are saving energy and money with smart energy efficiency policy and investments, while Australia lags at the back of the pack,” he said.

For the country to move towards a modern energy system, governments, policy-makers, and business leaders need to step up their efforts. 

The ACEEE report scored countries across four categories: national efforts, buildings, industry and transportation. Australia performed best in the buildings category, largely due to our building codes and building labelling programs.

Energy efficiency in this sector is likely to improve further with new technologies that track and manage energy usage, and initiatives such as NABERS, a national rating system that measures the environmental performance of Australian buildings.

Facility managers play a critical role in identifying opportunities to reduce energy consumption in commercial and residential buildings. FMA Chief Executive, Nicholas Burt, affirmed the Association’s commitment to working with government and business to improve energy efficiency in this sector. “Australia’s ranking indicates an untapped opportunity to save money and improve productivity, while also reducing our carbon emissions.”

The author of the ACEEE report, Shruti Vaidyanathan, urged Australia to review its environmental policies. “Without stronger energy efficiency measures, it will also be impossible for countries, including Australia, to meet the commitments necessary to achieving the global climate goal of capping temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius.” Read more