Successful greenhouse gas mitigation in existing Australian office buildings
Frequent site energy consumption auditing is a potential strategy to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing buildings. Such a strategy has been practised in Australia for nearly 15 years. This paper documents and analyses the effect of repetitive audits on measured site energy consumption. Using a self-constructed database of over 3500 audited disclosures representing over 800 unique office buildings, empirical models demonstrate that measured site energy consumption declines, on average, over the first five re-certification periods. The results also suggest a market average post-certification equilibrium in Australia of approximately 430 MJ/m2/year (120 kWh/m2/year) within approximately six years, if all else – including green management strategy – is held constant. Since GHG emissions from buildings in Australia are highly correlated with site energy consumption, such a result is comparable with meeting 50-year GHG mitigation targets reliant on the implementation of existing technologies. This suggests that repetitive auditing is a successful approach for motivating owners to invest in existing energy efficiency technologies.