The Greens today welcomed the final arrival of the Rudd government's election promise to require non-residential commercial buildings to disclose their energy efficiency to potential purchasers or lessees.
The disclosure scheme is a small step forward, but will have nowhere the broad positive impact for lowering energy bills, increasing productivity and reducing emissions that the Greens Energy Efficient Non-Residential Buildings Scheme would have.
"I'm glad that this disclosure scheme has finally arrived, but it is disappointing that once again the Rudd government has opted for the lowest common denominator instead of reaching towards ambitious action," Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.
"Everyone agrees that we need to do more to drive the incredible cost savings and emissions savings that will ultimately accrue from taking decisive action to upgrade our homes, offices, schools, hospitals and shopping centres for energy efficiency.
"The government's plan for mandatory disclosure of energy performance when buildings are sold or let is a small step in the right direction, but the government would be well advised to look at stronger policies with such clear support both in Australia and overseas.
"It is a pity that the bill is limited to only large office buildings. We need to see some solid plans for increasing energy efficiency in schools, hospitals, shopping centres and other commercial buildings.
"The Greens' bill is a groundbreaking approach that would ultimately benefit both building owners and occupants with lower energy bills and healthier environments, and all of us through reduced pollution and increased productivity.
"Mandatory disclosure will certainly help those who are already committed to action by making information on energy performance available, but it is not designed to drive systemic change across all buildings in Australia.
"The great benefit of the Greens' bill is that it requires all building owners and managers to make energy efficiency a priority.
"There are so many tremendous benefits from energy efficiency, but we have to make it a priority if we are to reap those benefits. That goes for the government as well as building managers."
Information on Senator Milne's bill is at: http://christine-milne.greensmps.org.au/content/media-release/greens-int...