Government buildings are responsible for a significant proportion of energy consumption worldwide, for example, in Australia, up to 41.5 PJ energy was consumed by government buildings in 2011–2012. While the newly constructed buildings may be energy efficient, the existing buildings, which account for more than 85% of the total building stock, were built prior to the time when energy rating systems was put in practice and are consequently energy inefficient to a large degree. Reducing the energy consumption in existing government buildings is essential, as it will not only reduce the costs and environmental impacts, but also show governments’ strong commitment towards the reduction of greenhouse gas emission. Furthermore, successful building energy retrofit projects are the showcases to the general public, encouraging other sectors (e.g. commercial) to conduct building retrofits for energy savings. Recognising these benefits, several state governments in Australia have introduced building energy efficiency policies and programs. This paper reviewed the energy efficiency policies/programs in five States in Australia: Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia, and Queensland in terms of respective policies and targets, implementation methods and current progress. The lessons learned from these programs were also discussed. This research revealed that the key factors for a successful government building energy retrofitting program are 1) having a properly enforced energy efficiency mandate with clear energy saving targets, 2) establishing an expert facilitation team and 3) implementing suitable financing and procurement methods.