Buildings in the city’s central business district. Photo: Katherine Griffiths/CityofSydney
The City of Sydney is proposing that development applications (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.
The measures are expected to save more than $1.3bn 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 highlighted that commercial office space, hotels and apartment buildings contribute two-thirds (68 per cent) of total emissions in Sydney’s local government area (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.”
Moore added: “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.
“Not only will this programme help us reach our target of net-zero emissions by 2035, it will provide energy savings of more than $1.3bn for investors, businesses and occupants across Greater Sydney. As we emerge from the impacts of the pandemic, we’re helping ensure sustainability and resilience is at the core of business recovery.”
The City’s new planning controls will combine energy efficiency and the use of on-site and offsite renewables to move buildings towards net zero energy use. Including the option to use offsite renewable energy purchases is another first for local planning controls in Australia.
Moore 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.
“Not only will this programme help us reach our target of net-zero emissions by 2035, it will provide energy savings of more than $1.3bn for investors, businesses and occupants across Greater Sydney”
“The action we take locally will help reduce emissions and contribute to a positive Covid-19 business recovery for Greater Sydney.
“The performance standards and evidence base can be used by all councils across Greater Sydney and will support investment in renewable energy and create jobs in regional areas – as we have already done through our investment in wind farms and solar farms in Inverell, Nowra and Wagga Wagga.