UPDATED: The Shopping Centre Council of Australia’s newly appointed senior adviser responsible for sustainability, Kristin Pryce, is currently working on a submission to the government’s draft methodology for commercial building energy projects under the Emissions Reduction Fund, as well as a submission on the Commercial Building Disclosure program.
Regarding the ERF, Ms Pryce said the SCCA was hopeful the shopping centre industry could benefit.
“We are very hopeful there will be opportunities to get access to some of the funding,” she told The Fifth Estate.
She said the SCCA wanted to make sure the ERF for commercial buildings worked in as many scenarios as possible, and not just for shopping centres.
To be attractive, it needed to be simple as well as cost and time efficient.
The NABERS report released today showed shopping centres had gone backwards on NABERS ratings, with the number of ratings declining 25 per cent in relation to last year.
Ms Pryce said NABERS ratings were only applicable for shopping centres over 15,000 square metres, meaning there was only a small market and sample size to make comparisons.
For those that had been rated, she noted, there was a 14 per cent increase in average star ratings, as well as a decrease in energy intensity and carbon intensity. There were even a couple of centres with six star ratings.
The NABERS report also noted the CBD program had driven sustainability improvements in the office market. The program, now under review, was flagged to be extended to shopping centres from this year, however the move has been put on ice.
The SCCA is against CBD for shopping centres, with Ms Pryce saying the drivers for investment were different than for commercial offices, and there was no tenant demand for the information CBD provided.
Shopping centres were also a highly regulated industry with trading hour restriction and regulations that meant like-for-like comparisons were not possible.
Ms Price formerly worked in housing and homelessness for the NSW Department of Community Services, and before that the Property Council of Australia, which she described as going from “one end of the property spectrum to the other”.