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Safe Climate (Energy Efficient Non-Residential Buildings Scheme) Bill 2010

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2010

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

Safe Climate (Energy Efficient Non-Residential Buildings Scheme) Bill 2010

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of Senator Milne)

 

 

 

 



Safe Climate (Energy Efficient Non-Residential Buildings Scheme) Bill 2010

Explanatory Memorandum

 

This bill was introduced by the Australian Greens in the 42 nd Parliament. The following explanatory memorandum reflects the debate at the time of the bill’s original introduction.

 

The purpose of the Safe Climate (Energy Efficient Non-Residential Buildings Scheme Bill) 2010 is to introduce a scheme to improve building energy efficiency.

 

The scheme established by the Bill is intended to work as follows:

 

1.        At the start of the scheme the Minister must determine through regulations which types (or sizes) of buildings the Act will apply to. Additional building types can be added in later years. The Minister must also determine the method which building owners must use to measure the emission intensity of buildings. This method may be varied according to different circumstances, such as building type, lease arrangement etc. Emission intensity is measured in greenhouse gas emissions per square metre.

 

2.        A two year transitional reporting period starts on the next 1 July after the commencement of this Act. In this period the owners of a non-residential building types participating in the scheme from the outset must report their buildings emission intensity annually to the Greenhouse and Energy Data Officer. Building types brought into the scheme at a later date will similarly have a two year transitional reporting period.

 

3.        Based on emission intensity data collected during the transitional reporting period the Minister would then set an intensity cap for the relevant building types each year for 10 years. The intensity cap would be guided by the average intensity for each city or region and would decline predictably over time. Cap 'gateways' setting an upper and lower bound into the future may be used to balance investor certainty with the need for regulatory flexibility.

 

4.        The Act also establishes a Building Efficiency Certificate Scheme which will be administered by the Greenhouse and Energy Data Officer. The Administrator will allocate tradable certificates, each worth one tonne of greenhouse gas, to each participating building owner. The amount of certificates each building owner will receive will be determined by the emission intensity cap for their building type, and the size of their building.

 

5.        The Minister must establish, within 12 months of the start of the scheme, a trading mechanism to allow building owners to buy, sell or stockpile the tradable certificates. Participating building owners must continue to report their building's energy intensity and surrender to the Greenhouse and Energy Data Officer certificates to the value of the emissions intensity of their building.

 

6.        If the owner of a non-residential building fails to surrender sufficient certificates, the owner has a building efficiency certificate shortfall and is liable to pay a building efficiency certificate shortfall penalty . The amount of the building efficiency certificate shortfall penalty is calculated by multiplying the amount of the building efficiency certificate shortfall by the scheme penalty rate for a year prescribed by the regulations.

 

7.        The Greenhouse and Energy Data Officer must keep a register to be known as the Register of the Emissions Intensity of Non-Residential Buildings. The register may be kept completely or partly in electronic form and freely available for public inspection.