Your say on proposed planning controls for net zero energy development

Improving the energy performance of buildings is critical to meet NSW and local government net zero emissions targets.

Project Status: Open for feedback

Public consultation period to

Why we’re doing this

It is globally recognised that to meet the ambitions of the Paris Agreement, global greenhouse gas emissions must reach net zero by 2050. Net zero emissions is reached when the amount of greenhouse gas produced is balanced by the amount taken out of the atmosphere.

The City of Sydney aims to drive down greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment and to reach net zero emissions by 2035. As part of this work, we recognise that the energy used in the operation of buildings is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Greater Sydney.

What we’re doing

To support the transition to net zero, we’ve developed performance standards for net zero energy buildings to be implemented through the planning system.

The performance standards are step change improvements in energy performance for new office, multi-unit residential, hotel, shopping centre and mixed-use developments and major refurbishment projects. These improvements can be through: 

  • energy efficiency
  • onsite renewable energy
  • offsite renewable energy recognised in the planning system.

The proposed planning controls require a consent authority to consider if specific types of development will be highly efficient, use renewable energy or achieve net zero with the performance standards set out in the draft development control plan.

Setting step changes in performance standards for energy efficiency and integrating renewables provides industry with certainty to plan and time to adapt and innovate to achieve net zero.

Industry and government action on these performance standards will help meet our shared goal of achieving net zero emissions. The performance standards also respond to the NSW electricity strategy, the Greater Sydney region plan’s low carbon city objective, and net zero targets for developers.

The performance standards and evidence base can also be used by other councils across Greater Sydney to achieve their targets for net zero emissions and sustainability actions in their local strategic planning statements. 

Net zero energy buildings will contribute to a positive and sustainable business recovery for Greater Sydney and improve building resilience. This adds to the environmental benefits of reduced emissions.

The performance standards were presented in March 2021 at the planning for net zero energy buildings briefing. Watch a highlights reel or the full briefing video.

Planning proposalPDF · 1.12 MB · Last modified
Draft development control planPDF · 353.84 KB · Last modified
Gateway determinationPDF · 145.06 KB · Last modified

These documents provide background to the proposals.

Next steps

We will consider and report your feedback on the planning proposal to Council in early 2022.

We will work with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to publish the new planning controls later in 2022.

How you can give feedback

Consultation closes at 5pm on Friday 17 December 2021.

These are the ways you can be involved and provide us with your feedback:

Feedback may be published in publicly available reports at the end of the consultation period. Your name or organisation’s name may appear in these reports with your feedback attributed. If you would like your feedback to be kept confidential, please let us know when providing your contribution.

Other ways to give feedback