Building energy efficiency provisions

The Northern Territory Government is seeking industry feedback on potential changes to building energy efficiency provisions in the Northern Territory (NT).

Currently, the building energy efficiency provisions in National Construction Code (NCC) Volume one Section J don't apply to non-residential buildings in the NT.

A cost benefit analysis has been conducted:

  • following a local industry investigation in 2020 into the potential adoption of NCC Section J in the NT and
  • in response to industry feedback.

The cost benefit analysis, undertaken by energy efficiency specialists DeltaQ, examines the impact of the potential adoption of either the energy efficiency provisions in the NCC 2016 or NCC 2019 from both private (owner-occupier) and social (NT economy-wide) perspectives.


A draft report has been prepared, detailing key findings and results of the cost benefit analysis.

The findings included that:

  • The analysis concluded that NCC 2019 significantly outperforms NCC 2016 under all scenarios considered.
  • Building archetypes that are compliant with NCC 2016 cost 1.7%-2.6% ($59-$72 per m2) more than the base case building in Darwin, and 1.3%-2.1% ($44-$58 per m2) more than the base case buildings in Alice Springs.
  • The cost of NCC2019 compliant buildings was found to be 1.4%-2.4% ($57-$81 per m2) and 1.3%-1.7% ($42-$76 per m2) more than the base case in Darwin and Alice Springs, respectively.
  • 6–27% energy savings are available if NCC 2016 is adopted, compared to 13–40% energy savings if NCC 2019 is adopted instead (NCC 2019 average energy savings of 23% across all building archetypes in Darwin, and 29% for Alice Springs).
  • The adoption of NCC2019 was shown to generate the largest greenhouse gas savings of 891 000 tonnes of CO2 cumulative over the modelled period from financial year 2023 to financial year 2070. Relative to the base case, the emissions savings associated with the adoption of NCC2019 and NCC2016 are 23.3% and 12.3% respectively.
  • Under the expected or most likely scenario, from a social perspective NCC 2019 produces a net social benefit for the NT of $276 million (net present value). This is 2.7 times the net present value (NPV) associated with implementing NCC 2016 ($103 million). The benefit cost ratios (BCR) for adopting NCC 2019 and NCC 2016 were 3.6 and 2.0 respectively.
  • From a private owner-occupier perspective, NCC 2019 will have a NPV of $295 million (BCR of 3.8) which is also 2.7 times larger than that of NCC 2016 (NPV $108 million at a BCR of 2.0).

The analysis found that whilst cost effective to adopt Section J for the single-storey office building, this archetype was the most sensitive from a cost benefit perspective due to the high building envelope to floor area ratio.

For this reason, DeltaQ has also prepared case studies focussed on the single-storey office building archetype (in both Darwin and Alice Springs), showing how different designs can prove NCC 2019 compliance using the DTS method and also a verification method.

For more information, view the draft report:

Next steps

The NT Government is interested to hear industry’s feedback on the findings of the cost benefit analysis and what the adoption of NCC Section J could look like for the Territory.

Following consultation, written feedback submissions will be collated and reviewed before finalising the draft report.

The final report will be considered before any decision about whether NCC Section J is adopted in the NT.

Webinar and Q&A

On 7 April 2022, the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics, and DeltaQ, hosted a webinar and Q&A to explain the key findings and results of the cost benefit analysis.

Get a copy of the PowerPoint presentation PDF (967.8 KB).

To request a copy of the recording, email

Have your say

To provide feedback on the report:

Feedback is invited until 26 April 2022.


Telephone: 8999 8982

Last updated: 11 April 2022

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