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Energy Tools Guide Facility Managers Towards Sustainability

23 January 2017

Facility managers can overcome financial challenges by utilising a wide range of tools, support and funding opportunities helping them to implement sustainability improvements to buildings.

Energy rating tools, such as the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS), have made it easier for facility managers to assess and improve the sustainability of buildings.

For more than a decade, NABERS has helped property owners, facility managers and tenants rate their energy performance, which has led to financial benefits and an improved environmental reputation.

NABERS, which measures the environmental performance of Australian buildings, tenancies, shopping centres and homes, adds incentive for facility managers to focus on implementing and monitoring new sustainability initiatives in their building.

A NABERS assessment and rating enables facility managers to identify energy savings opportunities, improve operational efficiency and lift productivity, while demonstrating a commitment to sustainable outcomes.

However, the cost of an energy assessment can be a significant barrier for property managers, making funding opportunities an important element of the process.

As NABERS has become accepted in Australia a series of funding or grant opportunities has emerged to help facility managers assess their buildings and identify areas for improvement.

The City of Sydney, for example, offers funding for credible industry accepted environmental performances ratings such as NABERS. Funds are available over two years for accredited ratings and an energy efficiency action plan to be undertaken and developed by an accredited NABERS assessor.

In year one, the City of Sydney provides a maximum of $10,000 towards an energy rating and action plan, while in year two, the council provides 50 percent of funds to a maximum of $5000 towards a second NABERS assessment.

Sustainability Victoria’s Energy Efficient Office Buildings program, which operates in collaboration with the City of Melbourne, provides funding and support for building owners to improve energy efficiency.

Eligible Victorian building owners and facility managers can access matched funding amounts of $20,000 to $150,000 to carry out opportunities analysis, building tuning and monitoring activities.

Other local governments also offer funding opportunities for NABERS assessments, including Adelaide City Council and the City of Perth, in conjunction with the CitySwitch Green Office program.

The Adelaide City Council rebate offers up to half the cost of a NABERS rating assessment (up to $2500) for organisations based within the local government area. The City of Perth grant offers 50 per cent of the assessment (up to a maximum value of $1000) for organisations based within the local government area.

New Zealand’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) helps fund energy audits to identify energy and cost-saving opportunities in buildings. Funding can be sourced for audits on a building’s HVAC equipment.

Most Australian states or territories have also set energy efficiency targets, with funding schemes that provide incentives for buildings to reduce energy usage.

New South Wales’ Energy Savings Scheme creates financial incentives for organisations that invest in energy savings projects, which are achieved by installing, improving or replacing equipment.

The Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) is designed to make energy efficiency improvements more affordable by offering accredited businesses with discounts and special offers on energy saving equipment.

Through its understanding of ratings tools like NABERS and associated funding schemes, Programmed helps facility managers curtail energy expenditure and improve NABERS ratings. Programmed offer practical, vendor independent solutions that are bespoke to the needs and goals of facility managers.

This involves evaluation of the energy saving potential of every project. Following a simple process, Programmed delivers energy performance upgrades that meet our customers’ objectives.

If you are interested in discussing solutions that improve building sustainability, contact Programmed now.

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