Buildings consume a significant amount of energy, resulting in detrimental impacts on the environment. Building operations in Australia are responsible for 26% of the country’s energy consumption, resulting in 280,000 tons of CO2 emissions each day. In addressing the detrimental impacts of residential buildings, zero carbon housing has been proposed as a solution to achieve energy conservation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While the benefits of such housing are widely recognised, there is limited uptake in Australia. In addressing this uptake challenge, the research presented in this paper explores existing policy mechanisms and opportunities to integrate or develop policy incentives to promote zero carbon housing in Victoria.
This paper presents the analysis of policy incentives on zero carbon housing and feed-in tariff based on systematic research process and approaches. Comprehensive questionnaires and semi-structured interview questions were predesigned for seven groups of stakeholders, including homeowners or prospective homebuyers, staff of home builders, staff of government agency, staff of electricity distributors, staff of electricity retailers, house designers/consults, and solar photovoltaic industry professions. A workshop was then conducted to verify the predesigned questions, based on which semi-structured interviews were conducted with the government policy department and online surveys were launched for other groups of stakeholders. Based on the collected data and information, comprehensive analysis was undertaken to propose a policy framework to promote the uptake of zero carbon housing in Victoria.
This research identified a hierarchical structure of policy and incentives promoting zero carbon housing in Victoria, including market expectations, subsidies and incentives for homebuyers, rating and certifying schemes, and design and marketing strategies. A payback period based mechanism to determine feed-in tariff is also proposed as an alternative to market price based mechanism.
The proposed policy framework regarding zero carbon housing and feed-in tariff can be referred to by the state government agencies to promote zero carbon housing in the studied region. This research is also transferable and can be referred to by other states and globally. Overall, this research fosters sustainable housing concepts and shape the sustainability of the residential building sector.
SOURCE: Li, H. Moore, T. Costin, G. Wang, J. Zhang, P. Mills, A. “Towards Zero Carbon Housing in Victoria Through Policy Instruments.” 2019 International Conference on Resource Sustainability, 13 June 2019.
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