- The proposals are to be implemented from January 2023
- They would apply to all new buildings, shopping centres and major redevelopments
- Expected to save $1.3 billion on energy bills, and help city reach zero net emissions
New buildings in Sydney will have to be more energy-efficient, use more renewable energy and support the transition to net-zero emissions under an Australia-first plan for them to meet energy targets in development applications (DAs).
Under the City of Sydney’s proposal, DAs for new office buildings, hotels and shopping centres and major redevelopments of existing buildings must comply with minimum energy ratings from January 2023, and achieve net-zero energy output by 2026.
“Energy use in buildings is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
“Commercial office space, hotels and apartment buildings contribute 68% of total emissions in our LGA. If we’re to meet our target of net-zero emissions by 2035, we need to ensure this sector is contributing to emissions reduction through increased energy efficiency, on-site renewable energy production and off-site renewable energy procurement.”
Lord Mayor Clover Moore
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.
Including the option to use offsite renewable energy purchases is another first for local planning controls in Australia.
The Lord Mayor said the “ambitious” green building performance standards – a first for any Australian local council – have been created with support from developers, industry bodies, consultants and government agencies.
“The climate challenge is one that we can only meet with concerted action. The more we can work together and exchange information, knowledge and experiences, the greater our ability to meet the NSW Government net-zero emissions target and allow us to continue to create truly liveable cities,” she said.
The new energy targets have the backing of leading developers, property owners and industry groups.
“Across Greater Sydney, the changing climate is a shared problem. These performance standards will help us meet our shared goal of net zero emissions and deliver progress against the Greater Sydney region plan low carbon city objective.”
Emma Herd, Greater Sydney Commission environment commissioner
“I would encourage councils across the Greater Sydney region to look at these performance standards as a useful tool for achieving environmental targets of net zero emissions and sustainability actions in their local strategic planning statements.”
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,”
Neil Arckless, Lendlease executive development director
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.
It has been estimated that office owners could save $2,750 per 1,000 square metres of floor area annually and hotel owners $170 per hotel room per year.
There are also additional public benefits and savings in health, energy network and emissions costs, worth around $1.8 billion.