The CRC for Low Carbon Living has produced a series of RAPID SYSTEMATIC REVIEWS TO ANSWER KEY RESEARCH QUESTIONS POSED BY THE government and industry. tHESE reviewS ENABLE THE RESEARCHERS TO SEARCH THE BODY OF KNOWLEDGE ON A PARTICULAR TOPIC IN A THOROUGH AND SYSTEMATIC WAY BUT TO STILL RESPOND IN A TIMELY MANNER.

Do green-rated office buildings save operational energy?

It is commonly assumed that buildings certified as “green” or “energy efficient” can save energy at operational stage. However, literature shows that not all highly rated buildings consume less energy at operational stage. The differences in the estimates of energy savings may stem from the quality of the studies comparing certified buildings with other buildings.

We aimed to locate and summarise peer-reviewed published empirical evidence for the energy efficiency of new green-rated office buildings. 

Digital services and communication platforms for residential energy customer engagement

Rapid development of digital technologies, combined with advances in energy management, automation of devices and smart buildings, is presenting power utility companies with new opportunities for customer engagement. Primary literature on this topic is too vast to be covered in a single review. Thus, we focus on existing systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

The main question guiding this rapid review was: “Drawing on secondary literature that employs systematic review and meta-analytic approaches, what do we know about digital services and communication platforms that allow for residential customer engagement and interaction with the energy system?”

 

 

The effects of residential energy performance disclosure on property values

This review suggests that home buyers typically value a more energy efficient home, and when presented with easily accessible information in the form of an energy performance rating, are willing to pay more to live in one.

Therefore, a disclosure policy of a building’s energy rating can assist consumers in making a more energy efficient choice, which may result in lower energy bills and a healthier home.

Homeowners, agents and policy makers should consider the way that the rating scheme is calculated, the local context, and the associated evaluation model.

Policy and program options for improving energy efficiency in low income households

The main objective of this rapid systematic review is to synthesise knowledge from secondary literature employing systematic review and meta-analytic approaches on the mix and effectiveness of policy and program options for improving the energy efficiency of the homes in which low-income households reside.

Most studies recommended targeting the most vulnerable households or households with the highest needs in order to achieve equitable outcomes. 

The financial cost of implementation should also not be borne by the disadvantaged recipient households, such as costs from being rehoused to better quality housing or landlords passing on the costs of the intervention.

 

Best practice techniques for urban cooling in Australian climate zones

The main objective of this rapid systematic review is to provide an international literature review of best practice techniques for urban cooling for the major climate zones in Australia.

The appropriate approaches can be selected and applied only with respect to the geographical and climate features of a specific urban area. In so doing, they contribute to mitigating or adapting to the UHI at the target urban area, but also contributes to lowering the annual energy consumption of local buildings.

Policy for low carbon retrofit/renovation of residential buildings

This rapid review identified five common themes for policy makers to consider to support low carbon residential retrofits/renovations: Tailor policy to decision-makers dispositions and perspectives; Funding or subsidies should target up-front costs; No one-size fits all, so tailor for contextual factors; Implement earlier rather than later and also earlier in the building life-cycle; Take a comprehensive systems approach to policy design and implementation.

In addition, the review identified the need for more empirical analysis of energy outcomes from any implemented policy

 

Best practice on financing models for low carbon / energy efficient buildings

The objective of this review is to find evidence on international best practices on financing models for energy efficiency investments in buildings.

A number of findings and insights were identified to assist in guiding best practice for financial mechanisms, such as: taxonomies of mechanisms and key design features; barrier analysis and the manner in which different financial mechanisms can address these barriers; financial mechanism success factors; and considerations on how finance mechanisms can integrate with different business models and government policy environments.

A number of the studies identified that no single mechanism will necessarily fit all countries or situations. Different geographic, demographic, political and market environments will affect the suitability of any different mechanism.

 

More reviews coming soon

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