Council's Environment and Heritage Committee will consider a new grant program on Monday night to help small to medium size businesses join the CitySwitch program.
CitySwitch is the leading national energy efficiency program for commercial office tenants, supporting them to improve energy efficiency and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Originally developed in Sydney, by the City of Sydney, North Sydney Council and Parramatta City Council, CitySwitch now includes 78 tenancies in Sydney, covering 878,300 square metres of floor space - 68 percent of our state target.
Businesses joining CitySwtich obtain an annual rating under the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS). This government developed and managed tool awards businesses an energy efficiency rating on a scale of one to five, with five stars demonstrating best practice.
Studies have found that the cost of the first NABERS energy rating is a significant barrier to organisations signing up to CitySwitch.
Based on the success of a similar pilot program by CitySwitch Victoria, Council will consider adopting CitySwitch NABERS Grants of up to $1000 help reduce costs and increase the number of small to medium businesses joining the program.
With tenants able to influence up to 50 per cent of the energy use in a building, simple changes to improve day-to-day energy efficiency can help businesses save money and make a positive impact on the environment. Experience shows that by implementing energy efficiency measures and becoming more aware to the energy they use, many tenants can save 20 to 40 percent on their electricity bills.
By signing up to CitySwitch, organisations join a growing partnership between local government and corporate leaders and demonstrate, as well as promote, their commitment to environmental sustainability.