Financial boost extends energy saving advice’s reach

by FM Media
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A $1 million grant given to CitySwitch Green Office will enable the program to be expanded outside Australia’s capital city CBDs and into regional areas.

CitySwitch Green Office has received $1 million from the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism as part of the Energy Efficiency Information Grants Program. The grant will help CitySwitch bolster its efforts in advising tenants on measures to reduce office energy use.
To be paid over two years, the grant will allow the not-for-profit Net Balance Foundation to employ staff to extend its reach and provide energy saving advice to smaller commercial organisations that did not previously have access to the CitySwitch program.
Terence Jeyaretnam, executive director of Net Balance comments: “The CitySwitch program is closely aligned with Net Balance’s ambition to enable and accelerate resilience, efficiency and innovation through sustainability in organisations right around Australia, irrespective of their size and financial capacity. We are excited to partner with CitySwitch and work with the Federal Government to help expand the depth and reach of the program to regional Australia.”
CitySwitch currently represents 375 signatories that have 431 separate tenancies occupying almost 2 million square metres of office space. When tenants join up they commit to achieving a minimum 4-star rating on the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) for their tenancy.
According to CitySwitch national program coordinator, Esther Bailey from the City of Sydney, the extra money will transform CitySwitch. “This new funding provides a huge opportunity to commercial office tenants around Australia along with existing signatories to join our network of businesses that are reaping the benefits of energy efficient offices and the lower operating costs they deliver.”
The boost in funding coincides with the recent launch of the program’s online resource hub, which provides tenants with tips and advice ranging from setting up a switch-off behaviour change program to explaining the different government grants available for sustainable office upgrades. Read more on CitySwitch’s recent study into high performing buildings and productivity gains here.
CitySwitch also holds regular workshops and information sessions. Over the coming month CitySwitch and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors will host a national series of events on how to choose and manage an energy efficient workplace with tips on how to best negotiate an energy efficient lease.
CitySwitch is run in partnership with the cities of Sydney, North Sydney, Parramatta, Willoughby, Ryde, Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth, along with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and new partner, the Net Balance Foundation.

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