Strategic Coach article 5 steps to achie

ZERO CARBON EMISIONS PLAN

To reach a target you need a plan. To build developments that are or become carbon neutral or carbon positive you need a plan.


Zero Carbon Emissions Plans (ZCEP) should be prepared for all building or asset developments, or organisations, where energy will be consumed in the operation of that building or asset. LID Consulting can assist with this, in pulling together the plan and the modelling. See our website/services


A Zero Carbon Emissions Plan should show how the building, asset or organisation will facilitate reducing operational emissions over an agreed time-frame. This time-frame commitment is 2050 for the Victorian and NSW State governments, which is a good start. Where possible developments and organisations should aim to reach this point sooner, perhaps 2025, 2030 or 2040.


Reducing carbon emissions to zero by 2050 is a commitment to reduce emissions from 100% over 30 years. This equates to a reduction of 3.3% on baseline modelled (proposed) or actual energy figures in 2020. A commitment to reduce emissions to zero by 2040 equates to a reduction in emissions of 5% per year. These options are not a challenging commitment. In recent school projects we have worked on, commitments for installing PV panels will reduce electricity consumption by 17% in one year.


Guidance to assist in preparing the ZCEP:


  • Typically, the starting point is to maximise energy efficiency of the building or asset. Realistic opportunities must be taken. Where the starting energy consumption is smaller, then the absolute reductions in future years will not need to be as significant.

  • An estimate should be undertaken of the likely energy consumption of the proposed or upgraded development or organisation. Knowing the starting point for emissions, allows planning what reductions need to occur to meet the target.


A typical Net Zero CEP for a building would demonstrate the following:

  1. Maximise passive design or other energy efficiency strategy such as designing to passive house principles.

  2. Optimise building envelope insulation, glazing and shading.

  3. Minimise energy consumption of services through highest efficiency HVAC, lifts, appliances, equipment, etc.

  4. Identify alternatives to the use of gas e.g. in cooking and hot water production.

  5. Select optimised electric hot water service solutions or solutions that can be upgradeable.

  6. Prepare an estimate of the expected energy consumption of the building when in use

  7. Identify space for required PV panels or other renewables to cover estimated energy consumption.

  8. Install cabling for PV panels or other renewables. Install stage 1 PV panels or renewables.

  9. Include cabling for electric vehicle recharging.

  10. Purchase green energy and / or carbon credits to offset any shortfall.


Note: as the state electricity grid moves to renewables at the identified goal rate (50% by 2030), then the balance of non-renewables that would need to be offset by purchasing green energy will reduce into the future.