Energy Efficient Buildings Plan

This is a practical plan to fix Australia’s buildings in a decade

Australia can halve its energy use from buildings, wipe out energy and gas bills and transform our homes and workplaces to provide greater comfort with lower energy bills.

Beyond Zero Emissions’ Buildings Plan (2013) is the first comprehensive, nation-wide plan for retrofitting Australia’s buildings to reach zero emissions from operation within 10 years.

It sets out how Australia can transform its building stock to:

  • reduce energy bills
  • generate renewable energy
  • add health and comfort to our living spaces, and
  • make our workplaces more productive.

Australia’s existing buildings are not adequately designed to meet many of the challenges we face today. Houses and workplaces are often unnecessarily cold in winter, hot in summer, and expensive to run. We now have the technologies and know-how to make our buildings far more comfortable, while protecting us from rising electricity and gas bills.

This plan contains detailed bottom-up research, modelling and analysis into Australia’s existing buildings and energy consumption. We have collaborated extensively with industry, ensuring our recommended suite of retrofit measures is practical and widely applicable.

It was produced in collaboration with University of Melbourne – Energy Research Institute.


  • Reduce residential energy by 53%
  • Homes can generate more electricity than they use, becoming renewable energy power stations
  • Buildings can go gas free, eliminating gas bills and significantly reducing energy use as well as greenhouse gas emissions
  • Save $40 billion over the next 30 years. If the full upgrades were implemented, Australians would save money
  • Reduce non-residential energy use by 44%
  • Create tens of thousands of jobs: from residential retrofits alone, around 50,000 jobs can be created in the trades sector.


Your DIY guide to building or renovating an energy efficient home and achieving energy freedom.

Beyond Zero Emissions’ Energy Freedom (2015) is a practical resource for renovators and builders that details how you can create an energy efficient home.

We set out the nine steps to achieving a comfortable, high-performance home that costs nothing to run:

  1. Insulation: Fully insulating your home can cut your heating use by 80%. High-performance technologies are available to retrofit all types of Australian homes.
  2. Rooftop Solar: Your home can be a solar power station! With rooftop solar you have the power to generate your own energy.
  3. Lighting: LED downlights save 80% of the energy used by halogens and can pay for themselves in under a year.
  4. Draught proofing: Fixing draughty homes improves comfort and can cut winter heat loss by up to 25%. It can also add 2 stars to your home’s energy rating.
  5. Hot water systems: Hot water accounts for up to one third of energy bills. Use the heat from the sun or the ambient air to cut your bills and emissions every year.
  6. Energy monitoring and control: Real-time monitoring of energy use in your home can save you 9-15% on your energy bill.
  7. Heating and Cooling: Reverse Cycle air conditioners (heat pumps) are the most efficient heater and cooler you can have. Save 60% on bills compared to ducted gas heating.
  8. Cooking and Appliances: Efficient appliances and induction cooktops use half the energy of standard electrical appliances and gas.
  9. Glazing: Upgrade to double or triple glazing to reduce heat loss and heat gain through windows and doors by up to 85%.

For more details, purchase the Energy Freedom book, for renovators and builders.

Our Energy Freedom program is based on BZE’s Buildings Plan, a plan for Australia to reduce emissions and make our buildings comfortable, efficient and cheaper to run.