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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

22 July 2005

Government agencies cut energy use


Australian Government agencies have cut their energy use by 15 per cent and greenhouse gas emissions by 11.5 per cent since 1997-98, saving taxpayers about $30 million every year, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, said today.

Energy consumption or intensity has fallen in nine out of 12 categories of energy use since 1997-98. The amount of energy used in government offices has dropped by 36 per cent per person.

The energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of 121 government departments and agencies are detailed in the report Energy Use in Australian Government’s Operations 2003-04.

“These results show it is possible to help the environment and to save money at the same time – simply by being smarter energy users. Reducing energy use is a practical and financially rewarding step that all Australian organisations and households can take,” Senator Campbell said.

During 2003-04, energy consumption only increased by 0.45 per cent at a time when several agencies significantly expanded their operations in response to government priorities. The expansion of infrastructure for Defence and CSIRO, in particular, resulted in a temporary overall increase in energy use. This infrastructure included new radar systems and research laboratories. The agencies are applying best practice energy management in their operations, ensuring their energy efficiency continues to improve over the long term.

“Our Government will continue to show leadership in reducing energy consumption through the development of a new energy policy for government operations. We have also developed the ESD Design Guide for Australian Government Buildings, which gives practical advice for agencies on how to minimise the environmental impact of their buildings and operations,” Senator Campbell said.

Developed primarily for government buildings and operations, the guide will be equally valuable for those involved in designing and constructing commercial property. It is the first in a series of guides on the benefits of environmentally sustainable buildings.

Using examples from some of Australia’s landmark buildings, the guide shows how to make changes that reduce environmental impact, provide better social spaces and improve the business bottom line.

For example, the first office building in Australia to commit to a 5-star energy rating, 30 The Bond in Sydney, achieved a 30 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions when compared to a typical office. Also, Melbourne’s CH2 building, which is naturally cooled at night when heat accumulated during the day is released, will lead to savings in energy costs of around $1.2 million a year.

“Governments, as well as industry and business, must begin to implement more environmentally responsible building practices, and through these initiatives the Australian Government is helping to lead the way.”

For more information and to access both documents please visit www.greenhouse.gov.au/government

Media contact:
Renae Stoikos on 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

Commonwealth of Australia