Sustainability 24 April 2024

Victorian hospital rating for energy and water efficiency released

Victoria has set a new standard for sustainable healthcare.

The Victorian Government has unveiled the latest NABERS Public Hospitals ratings for water and energy efficiency for the first time. Publishing this data marks an environmental milestone in Victoria's healthcare sector.

What is NABERS?

NABERS stands for the National Australian Built Environment Rating System. It rates the environmental performance of public buildings by measuring energy and water use. Then, it compares them to other, similar public hospitals. NABERS uses a star rating system. Six stars represents superior performance.

How Victorian hospitals performed

Victorian public hospitals achieved an average NABERS rating of 4.1 for energy. This represents 'high performance'. They achieved an average rating of 3.9 for water, or 'market standard'.

Notably, 62 per cent of hospitals received above-average ratings for energy and water. Three hospitals earned a 6-star 'market leading' energy rating. Thirty hospitals secured a 5-star 'superior performance' rating. For water, 13 hospitals achieved 6-star and 29 hospitals 5-star ratings.

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What we are doing to improve

The Victorian Health Building Authority (VHBA) supports hospitals to save energy and water. Saving energy and water benefits the environment and reduces costs.

For new buildings, VHBA's sustainability guidelines set a NABERS 5-star design target and minimum standards. They also allocate a proportion of the budget for sustainability. Sustainability initiatives supported include:

  • building airtightness
  • building controls
  • solar power
  • water-efficient fixtures
  • water capture and reuse.

In existing hospitals, VHBA is investing $40 million in energy efficiency and solar. To date, VHBA investment has delivered some $1.2 million annual savings and avoided around 5,500 tonnes of greenhouse gases. The program has also supported energy audits at 43 health services, with initiatives being implemented.

Leading the way in sustainability

The Victorian Government has committed to net zero by 2045. Public buildings play a large part in this. By publishing ratings, we are transparent about the environmental performance of public hospitals. The ratings are also an incentive to improve performance over time.

In 2022-23, Victorian public hospitals spent $170 million on energy and water. An improvement of 1 per cent could deliver $1.7 million in savings and free up funding for other things.

The rating mirrors the efforts of VHBA's energy efficiency and solar program. Providing health services with solar improves their energy ratings. It also helps them reach their sustainability goals.

Read more about Victoria's NABERS Public Hospitals ratings for 2022-23.

You can learn more about our environmental initiatives on our dedicated environmental sustainability page.

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Last updated: 24 April 2024