Increasing asset value remains a key driver for green building development or retrofit in Australia, according to the Johnson Controls Energy Efficiency Indicator survey.
In Australia the top three drivers for efficiency investments were 1) cost savings, 2) government or utility incentives and rebates, and 3) increasing asset value.
“Every year we’ve done the survey cost savings is always the number one driver,” Johnson Controls global energy and sustainability vice president, Clay Nesler says. “That’s been consistent across countries, regions for years.”
“Australia was particularly unique in that increasing asset value of the properties was identified as the third highest driver, and that’s among about 15 choices. So, significantly highly rated in Australia; the only other country to be rated so high is the UK,” Nesler says.
Nesler says Australia saw an increase in the number of respondents planning to certify buildings over the next two years, up 50 percent from 2011, while 22 percent of respondents said they were willing to pay a premium for space in a certified green building.
“You can see where there are a number of dynamics which would drive building owners to make improvements to their existing buildings,” Nesler says, “commercial and industrial companies are looking to lease space, and in fact willing to pay a premium for space in a green building.”
“These are mutual, reinforcing type trends.”
“It’s one thing to believe, as many early adapters do, that a green building would be more attractive, it would be of greater value to tenants that want to attract and retain employees, and for those tenants where sustainability supports their mission and values,” he says., “It’s another thing to say that if I do not do it I’ll be hurting the value of my real estate portfolio. Both of those thing again can work together to drive greater retrofits.”
Access to capital, at 29 percent, was the number one barrier to green building development or retrofit in Australia, the survey says.
The majority of Australian respondents (at 35 percent) said tax credits, incentives and rebates were the policy that would have the greatest impact on energy efficiency. Globally, 31 percent nominated this as the most effective policy.
“There are a number of cities which are implementing policies that can help drive energy efficiency,” Nesler says, “some examples are performance disclosure laws, which are now becoming more popular in Australia, but are also in place in throughout Europe as well as in certain cities in the United States. Those seem to be policies that will drive retrofit by increasing the transparency of the underlying efficiency.”
“Innovative financing schemes which cities are implementing [drive retrofit]. I think a good example in Australia is the Environmental Upgrade Agreements. There are other policies which provide other incentives; expedited permitting or tax incentives to stimulate investment in energy efficiency,” Nesler says.