Property sector can save through creative use of technology

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Speaking at the GreenCities conference in Melbourne earlier this year, Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) chairman Jillian Broadbent (AO) said that integrated technology innovations are unlocking new opportunities for the property sector.

Broadbent was part of a panel on ‘creative change in uncertain times’ at the GreenCities sustainability conference, jointly hosted by the Green Building Council of Australia and the Property Council of Australia.

Broadbent said that some businesses recognise that periods of change and uncertainty provide the perfect opportunity to make bold decisions, catalyse change and position themselves ahead of the rest. She highlighted the result of Navigant Research’s market analysis, which predicts the global market for technology rich energy efficient building products and services will grow from $300 billion in 2014 to approximately $620 billion in 2023.

Broadbent says that the growth in technology is paving the way for creative new ways to drive the transformation of our cities’ operations, their sustainability and their liveability. “This transformation represents exciting opportunities for the property sector to increase productivity in a world where building systems and appliances become integrated and integrated with wholly easy-to-use systems and mobile devices.”

CEFC has been actively helping out in the property sector, providing finance for retrofits designed to help future-proof against rising energy costs and retaining their attractiveness to tenants. Working with NAB, ANZ and Commonwealth Bank, CEFC has established loan products that cover upfront costs of upgrading to improve energy productivity.

“On average, Australia’s commercial buildings stock is nearly 30 years old,” Broadbent said. “Our experience shows that retrofits deliver an average energy use reduction of 40 percent. Why isn’t everyone upgrading their buildings and property infrastructure?”

According to Broadbent, sustainable growth is a global challenge that requires local solutions, but she thinks that Australia is well-placed to take advantage of technology advances and remain ahead of the pack.

CEFC invests using a commercial approach in order to overcome market barriers and mobilise investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency and low-emissions technologies.

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