Australia must achieve zero emissions homes by 2035

The Australian government is preparing to set its 2035 target for emissions reductions. As the government develops its sector plan for emissions in the built environment, Renew’s submission to the Climate Change Authority argues that Australia’s homes are a critical opportunity for immediate emissions reductions.

Mature technologies are available now that can be deployed at scale to achieve near-zero emissions from the operation of Australia’s homes before 2035.

Energy used in homes constitutes up to 11% of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Unlike in harder-to-abate sectors, zero-carbon new homes and large-scale retrofits of existing homes including electrification can be delivered immediately. Australia will not meet its existing targets nor the more ambitious targets required to align with 1.5 Degree climate scenarios if action is delayed on this immediate opportunity.

Homes have a unique role in meeting the overlapping needs of climate mitigation, climate adaptation, community wellbeing, and social justice. Energy-efficient, all-electric homes deliver a wide range of benefits including lower energy bills, better occupant comfort and health, reduced emissions, and reduced pressure on the energy grid.

While households are increasingly taking steps to drive the shift towards energy efficient homes powered by renewables, consumer choices without government policy will not deliver the transition needed and will ultimately come at a cost to households left paying higher energy prices. Households including low-income households and renters face barriers to retrofits and electrification which must be addressed by government policy in line with decarbonisation targets.

Read the full submission here.