Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning High Efficiency Systems Strategy (HVAC HESS)

The Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning High Efficiency Systems Strategy (HVAC HESS) is a ten-year initiative under the National Strategy on Energy Efficiency (NSEE) that aims to drive long term improvements in the energy efficiency of HVAC systems Australia wide. It takes a whole of life perspective in targeting HVAC efficiency improvement, encompassing the design, manufacture, installation, operation and maintenance stages of the HVAC lifecycle. It recognises that large efficiency gains can be achieved through the maintenance and operation of existing systems in existing building stock, and seeks to establish national system standards of documentation for design, installation, operation and maintenance of HVAC equipment/systems.

The installed base of non-residential HVAC systems in Australia are estimated to consume 9 per cent of electricity produced in Australia (representing more than 3.6 per cent of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions), create more than 55 per cent of electrical peak demand in CBD buildings, consume billions of litres of water per annum in cooling towers, and are part of an industry worth $7 billion per annum that employs more than 95,000 people.

The Strategy has been designed to address non technical barriers to efficiency, identify and promote highly efficient technical solutions and optimisation processes, and create/foster an environment in which energy efficiency gains are quantifiable, sustainable and valued. The Strategy consists of a number of complimentary measures that fall under the three broad initiatives - People, Practices and Systems. For more detail see The Measures: HVAC High Efficiency Systems Strategy.

Recently under the 'Practices' initiative the Guide to Best Practice Maintenance & Operation of HVAC Systems for Energy Efficiency has been published. It is a practical guide designed to encourage those working with the maintenance and operation of HVAC systems to focus on improving energy and water efficiency.

Under the 'Systems' initiative, the report Wireless Metering has also been published recently. The report reviews the suitability of electrical sub-metering and wireless sensor technologies for retrofit applications to older HVAC systems.

A suite of HVAC HESS Fact sheets is being developed that will span all three initiatives. The factsheets are designed to provide a quick overview and reference on specific topics of relevance to the HVAC industry to inform, educate, and encourage energy efficiency in HVAC operations. 

HVAC HESS Background


The Ministerial Council on Energy (MCE) approved the National Framework for Energy Efficiency (NFEE) Stage Two, which comprised a package of five new energy efficiency measures, including the HVAC High Efficiency Systems Strategy (HVAC HESS).


The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to develop a National Strategy on Energy Efficiency (NSEE) to 'accelerate energy efficiency efforts, streamline roles and responsibilities across levels of government, and help households and businesses prepare for the introduction of a future carbon price'.


Revised HVAC HESS strategy endorsed by Ministers commenced on 1 January 2009. The three year work program, known as the Cool Efficiency Program, commenced in the 2009/2010 financial year.


The NSEE was released in July 2009 and incorporates and builds on measures already agreed by COAG and the MCE through NFEE, including HVAC HESS.


The Select Council on Climate Change was announced by COAG in February 2011. It was created with the purpose of supporting an effective response to climate change policy issues with national implications, and providing a forum for the Australian Government to engage with states, territories, local government and New Zealand on program implementation issues. This includes overseeing the NSEE.


Share this Page