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Additional resources for Improving the Energy Performance of Buildings: Learning from the European Union and Australia (Technical Report (RAND))
In Victoria, new residential buildings are required to be certiﬁed with a ﬁve-star rating, as assessed by the Australian Green Building Council’s Green Star program. S. 4 Like BASIX—and unlike the BCA—Green Star is a ﬂexible, outcomebased program in which building owners can achieve required ratings in a variety of ways. Western Australia and Queensland also require new residential buildings to achieve a ﬁve-star rating. BASIX and Green Star are design-based systems, but Australia also uses the NABERS operational-based energy performance rating system, which applies primarily to existing buildings.
Electricity in Australia is inexpensive (about 3 to 4 cents per kWh) and represents a small fraction of the cost of doing business. Given the low cost of electricity and the low market prices of NGACs, the process for earning an NGAC rarely warranted the eﬀort (Lend Lease Corporation, Lincolne Scott, and Advanced Environmental, 2009). Despite the modest success of the demand-side abatement component in the residential sector, it has been criticized for several reasons. First, the program allowed ﬁrms to earn credits based on the distribution of energy eﬃcient appliances, rather than actual reductions in energy use.
State governments have used energy performance ratings for public buildings in “leadby-example” approaches to encourage demand for energy eﬃcient commercial-building space. For example, the Queensland state government leases oﬃce space only in buildings that have at least a four-star Green Star rating (equivalent to a LEED silver standard). Other state government agencies and authorities require four-star or higher Green Star ratings in publicly owned or leased buildings as well. The Australian Department of Defence also uses Green Star rating tools in the design and construction of its buildings.