Measures for Improving Energy Efficiency in Commonwealth Operations

Last updated: 5 November 2017
To reduce the intensity of energy use in Commonwealth operations, the Australian government launched a series of measures involving multiple sectors of energy efficiency.Under the policy for improving energy efficiency in government operations introduced in 1997, budget dependent agencies were required to meet energy efficiency targets by 2002/3. The agencies were required to document their progress by submitting energy consumption data annually to the Australian Greenhouse Office within the Department of Environment and Heritage. Energy intensities, such as MJ/person, MJ/square metre and MJ/kilometre, were calculated and used to track changes in energy performance over time to enable simple comparisons between similar facilities.In 2002, Australia's Commonwealth, state and territorial governments initiated the development of fuel efficiency targets from 2003 for government car fleets. The Victorian Greenhouse Strategy 2002 set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the government passenger fleet by 10% by 2006. In July 2002, the New South Wales government ordered 200 hybrid vehicles (Toyota Prius sedans). The state's Prius fleet -- then second only to New York City's 300 -- would save an estimated A$550 000 in fuel costs over two years. The Australian Capital Territory Government Greenhouse Strategy released in 1999 stated an aim to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from the operation of its vehicle fleet by a further 15% by 2008.The 2004 publication of a green vehicle guide (GVG) provided comparative environmental ratings and fuel consumption figures for all light vehicles sold in Australia. This guide was used as the basis for a target to increase the portion of those vehicles in Federal government agencies' fleets which score in the top half of the Green Vehicle Guide from 18% to 28% by December 2005.

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