Germany and Australia can utilise their complementary strengths in building policy and performance to collaborate on improving the energy performance of existing buildings, says new research from the Energy Efficiency Council, German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce and adelphi.

The report, Further, faster, together: Opportunities for collaboration between Germany and Australia on energy efficiency in buildings was commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).

According to the report, Germany has an impressive track record on providing finance to support energy efficiency upgrades of homes through its KfW Bank. On the other hand, Australia’s world leading National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) has helped drive significant improvements in the energy performance of the nation’s commercial buildings.

Luke Menzel, CEO of the Energy Efficiency Council, said: “This report highlights Germany’s incredible success in supporting energy performance in improvements in existing homes by leveraging grants and finance, along with an ecosystem of clear performance benchmarks, a motivated network of retail banks and well-trained advisors that can facilitate the whole process.”

“Unlocking the market for residential energy performance improvements at scale is a big challenge. But with policymakers around Australia focused on that question right now, the time is right to seize this opportunity to learn from the best in the world.

“As we dug into this, the complementary strengths of our two nations on energy efficiency in residential and commercial buildings really stood out. Working together to leverage the insights generated on opposite sides of the world really will help us get further, faster, cutting energy bills and carbon emissions along the way," Menzel added.

Christoph von Spesshardt, executive director of the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, said: “Germany has much to learn from NABERS and the Commercial Building Disclosure program, which together have been so successful in making the actual energy performance of commercial buildings transparent, and valued in the market.”

“Learning the lessons of NABERS – or even considering adopting NABERS, as New Zealand and the United Kingdom have done – is something I’m very hopeful will take place in Germany."

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