Tag Archives: energy efficiency

Energising South East Asia Conference | Renewable Energy Investments

The  Energising South East Asia Conference and Exhibition will  be the largest sustainable energy expo ever held in Western Australia and is shaping up to be the largest expo to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency ever held in Australia.

Energising SEA | Renewable Energy Investments image

Energising SEA | Renewable Energy Investments

Around the world, growth in renewable energy investments are now greater than any other form of energy source.

Global renewable energy investments are around $US160 billion and this burgeoning of global effort in green energy is underwriting interest in the Energising South East Asia conference
Asia continues to be the fastest growing market in clean tech, with renewable energy investments now in excess of  $US40 billion. For example, China alone now has 42.3 GW of wind power, and has surpassed the US in terms of total installed capacity of wind.

Australia is lagging behind the world in both renewable energy investments and carbon pricing, as highlighted this week by Prof Ross Garnaut in his first update of the Garnaut Climate Change Review. But interest is strong – as it should be in the nation with the world’s best renewable energy resources.

Recent reports suggest Australia has the potential to produce some of the world’s cheapest renewable energy, and to meet all its energy demands by 2050.

Energising South East Asia Conference :   DETAILS

Prof Ray Wills
Sustainable Energy Association of Australia
Mobile +61 (0)  430 365 607

Passive Solar Homes Design Creates 300,000 New Jobs

Designs of passive solar homes, incorporating advances in recycling building materials from demolition, water and waste water design should be the focus of progress in our search for answers to reduce our domestic energy consumption.  New advances in solar water heating, grid connected photovoltaic systems and the integration of other renewable energy systems should be incorporated  into the built environment.

Passive Solar Homes to Create Opportunities

Solar Passive House Image - solar Umbrella

Passive Solar Homes with Solar Umbrella

Passive solar homes, adapted to become energy and water efficient such as this house shown with a solar umbrella, could create 300,000 new jobs in the building industry – this growth would take place over 20 years and be in key industry areas.

The growth in new jobs will only take place if we are serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and introducing policies and practices to ensure we only construct and reconstruct energy and water efficient homes.

Australia’s built environment constitutes 33 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions and this figure increases to 40 per cent when infrastructure and embodied energy are taken into account.

These amounts could  be reduced if energy consumed in existing homes is reduced by between 30 and 50 per cent and by 80 per cent in all new homes. This is why passive solar homes are the only realistic solution to our residential built environment energy problems.  However not all designers and architects specialise in energy efficient design and a ‘near enough is good enough’ attitude will not bring the best results in reducing energy consumption. Contact passive solar homes specialists for the best advice and outcome and ask them for proof of their expertise before you enter any contracts.

Retro-Fitting Existing Homes

Of the 7.5 million houses in Australia we know most need to be retrofitted to become more  energy and water efficient. Many of these will eventually need to be replaced with new state-of-the-art passive solar homes because it will be too costly to retrofit them.

Homes to be demolished will have to be carefully recycled and this will entail the introduction of procedures and policies to ensure wastage is kept to a minimum.

Building Codes Needed For Recycling Existing Homes

National building codes and other relevant legislation in Australia do not require home owners and builders to comply with energy and water efficiency principles when demolishing, retrofitting or renovating homes.
Legislation is lagging and up until now lay people and industry groups have led the way in the instigation of innovative and necessary change.

The idea of adapting a home to become more energy and water efficient is normally decided by home owners, who place pressure on designers and builders to trial new methods.

Once these techniques have been found to be effective, builders adopt them into mainstream practice and political parties follow by introducing them into legislation.

This means the general public and industry professionals will continue to lead the way in the push for important change, but this may not be enough if we are to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate the impact of climate change.

Demand For Passive Solar Homes

Many people in Australia want to live in passive solar homes and work in buildings that have been designed and built to comply with energy efficient and climate sensible principles.

While it’s good news people that people  want to live in energy efficient homes, there are barriers to these lifestyle changes which include money, industry know-how and legislative amendments. This is because the cost to retrofit a property may initially be outside a home owner’s budget despite the investment eventually being offset in energy savings while also reducing each of the occupants’ carbon footprints.

Legislation Lags Consumer Demands

Industry know-how and current legislation are also not at the level desired by consumers.   In the interim, young people, tradespeople, homes designers and architects could extend their skills’ levels by enrolling in sustainability courses  and placing pressure on landlords and employers to implement climate sensible and energy efficient principles in the rental market and the workplace.

However retrofitting and building new passive solar homes by home owners is probably the most likely and definitely the most effective response to our domestic over-consumption of energy.


Image: Courtesy Wikipedia

Energy Efficient Business Needs More Stars

25 July 2010

Ray Wills, CEO
Western Australian Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA)
Website: www.wasea.com.au
Email: info@wasea.com.au

The WA Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA) welcomes the Labor policy announcement today that will provide tax breaks to businesses that improve the energy efficiency of their commercial buildings.

WA SEA, Australia’s largest energy industry chamber, notes commercial buildings account for almost one fifth of Australia’s energy use.

‘Improving energy efficiency in commercial buildings could easily cut 10% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions,’ says WA SEA Chief Executive, Prof Ray Wills.

‘The measures announced by Labor today as an election commitment are significant and will create real change in the energy intensity of Australia’s economy. Improving energy efficiency in Australian buildings will improve both business profitability and national productivity, and strengthen Australia’s economy,’ says Prof Wills.

‘However, the measure is overdue and still only modest, not ambitious. We must change the paradigm of wasteful energy use in Australia’s business and aim for the stars – or at least more stars.’

‘The tax break proposed for buildings going from 2 stars or lower to 4 stars or higher must instead be strengthened.’

‘When spending taxpayers’ dollars, we must reward the best outcomes and not the “least best”. In particular, 4 stars is not all that ambitious, and the base for receiving the tax benefit should be at least a minimum 5 Star Plus performance level under the Building Code of Australia.’

‘Further, a graded reward could be applied, with a 25% tax break if the renovated building achieves 5 stars, a 33% tax break for 6 stars, and the full 50% for more than 6 stars,’ suggests Prof Wills.

‘Such measures must be accompanied by strengthened mandatory energy efficiency reporting of the energy use and efficiency that takes in all commercial buildings, not just big ones. Sales and rental advertising must disclose energy efficiency on both buildings to allow the potential owner or tenant to compare the running costs in different buildings.’

‘Eligibility criteria for the tax breaks announced today must include mandatory installation of renewable energy electricity generation, as well as solar water heaters or optionally high efficiency water heating such as heat pumps, on all buildings seeking benefit from this scheme.’

‘And consideration must be given to retrospective application from the date of the election – if start dates for initiatives such as this are delayed, markets will stall until start-up, and the building industry will be stuck in the doldrums of delayed incentives.’

‘Similar measures need to be developed across all Australian governments, and COAG and Local Governments must continue to improve energy ratings of new houses and buildings, with built into all renovation approvals.’

‘Most importantly, the Federal Government must also walk the talk – measures being encouraged for business must be rolled out and demonstrated as a greater priority in government operations. All government departments and agencies must be instructed to increase energy efficiency and install renewable energy on all existing government facilities and other public buildings. Further, the Government must ensure new buildings built on the public purse are energy efficient buildings and powered by renewable energy.’

‘In particular, all Government operations must aim to source 100% renewable energy for their power requirements by 2015.’

‘We must fundamentally change the way we think about energy and how we do business. And we must act,’ says Prof Wills.

Editors notes:

1. Labor statement on tax breaks for green buildings

2. What the world is doing

3. The Western Australian Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA) is a chamber of enterprises has a growing membership of over 340 industry members from a diversity of businesses. WA SEA is the largest energy industry body in Australia.

4. WA SEA bringing you the Energising SE Asia Conference 23-26 March 2011, Perth.

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