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New buildings in Sydney will be more energy-efficient, use more renewable energy and support the transition to net zero under a new proposal starting in 2023.
The changes come as part of the City of Sydney’s plans to achieve net zero emissions across its local government area by 2035.
Under the proposal, development applications for new office buildings, hotels and shopping centres and major redevelopment of existing buildings must comply with new minimum energy ratings by 2023 and achieve net-zero emission output by 2026.
The measures are expected to save more than $1.3 billion on energy bills for investors, businesses and occupants from 2023 to 2040, and help the city meet its target of net-zero emissions by 2035.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said commercial office space, hotels and apartment buildings (which come under the NSW government’s BASIX legislation and are not included in the proposed changes) contribute 68 per cent of total emissions to the City of Sydney LGA.
“Energy use in buildings is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions,” Ms Moore said.
“We have worked with industry and government to develop performance standard step changes that are ambitious but achievable. We’re providing a clear pathway and time for developers to improve energy performance and transition to net zero buildings.”
Neil Arckless, Lendlease executive development director, said his organisation supported the ambitious performance standards.
“At Lendlease, we recently set our own pathway to net zero carbon by 2025 and absolute zero by 2040. We are always pushing the boundaries to innovate in sustainability and welcome the City of Sydney leading the way in the development of these performance standards. I’m confident we can all rise to the challenge,” Mr Arckless said.
Stockland CEO commercial property Louise Mason said the company strongly endorsed the city’s net zero energy buildings performance standards.
“We have brought forward our target to achieve net zero carbon emissions to 2028 and extended the commitment across our entire portfolio, covering close to 170 active assets and projects Australia-wide,” Ms Mason said.
The city of Sydney estimates the measurers will save office owners $2,750 for every 1,000 square metres of floor area, while saving hotels $170 per room.
There are also additional public benefits and savings in health, energy network and emissions costs, worth around $1.8 billion. The planning controls also support the NSW government’s renewable energy zones through investment, and create demand for jobs and new skills in energy efficiency.