Summary of what Governance Action needs to be taken:
- Review the BCA and remove the discrepancies and bad science that exists in the energy provisions section. State Parliaments needs to push the Federal Government to initiate this change.
- Review and amend the AccuRate home energy-rating scheme. Discrepancies, bad science and the obvious industry lobby group interference in setting the benchmarks are causing impediments to progress.
- Review and amend the privacy provisions in residential guidelines in WA to allow passive solar houses to be effectively developed.
- Review the R-codes to introduce mandatory solar access zones, limit the footprints on sites to rein in excessively sized homes, and review and amend all heights and setbacks to coincide with passive solar design principles.
- Pass a statute law protecting all roofs of buildings from overshadowing from neighbours and an appropriate appeals process to separate the exceptions for the general rule. This is prime solar collection space for the future.
- Mandate that independently assessed and verified efficiency for water and energy be disclosed at the point of sale of all buildings.
- Set energy and water use benchmarks for energy bill discounts for compliant and successful users who achieve them.
- Progressively raise the rate of charges with the volume of use or misuse.
- Continue to reward best practice and innovation with awards.
- Annually report to the public the overall performances in energy and water conservation so everyone can assess the effectiveness of ongoing community and government actions.
- Embark on a PR campaign similar to the No Smoking Campaign to help change the awareness of Climate Change and what the public can do to help solve the problem.
- Make it mandatory for all existing and new public buildings to achieve highest standards of performance within say, 20 years.
- Embark on a public funded system of public education and training through increased grants for qualified individuals, industry associations and corporations with acknowledged expertise to educate and train the public to take some responsibility for their energy and water usage.
- Become part of a nationwide register of performance so that each State can be traced for effectiveness against benchmarks that relate to the climate and technologies economically available to them.
- Initiate the requirement that all fossil fuel energy power stations begin to include a mandatory level of renewable energy that is synergistic to a power generation regime and control systems.
- Designate the vast desert areas of Australia as solar collection zones that must have Australian 75% majority ownership for use in the future for the purposes of generating energy and energy products.
What is the rationale behind this recommended list of action? Following are my reasons for the suggestions and the logic underpinning the arguments.
An Independent Professional Opinion by Garry Baverstock AM, B. Arch, MSc, LFRAIA,
Adjunct Professor, Built Environment Program, Research Institute for Sustainable Energy (RISE) at Murdoch University.
Director of Wise Earth Research Centre.