National Construction Code advocacy resources
Australia’s building ministers are set to make a key decision in July 2022 on the future of energy standards for new homes.
Lifting energy efficiency standards in the 2022 National Construction Code will lead to lower energy bills, healthier homes, less pressure on the grid at peak times, and less carbon emissions. But vested interests are threatening to delay higher standards – so community support is needed to get the decision across the line.
Renew members are taking action to ensure local representatives understand the strong community support that exists for better home energy standards. This page provides background information and links to resources to support local advocacy.
The National Construction Code (NCC) sets the minimum energy efficiency standards for new buildings and major renovations in Australia. It is updated every 3 years, with the next update due to come into effect in September 2022. It has been a decade since energy standards were last lifted and Australia is lagging 40% behind comparable countries on home energy efficiency.
Ministers will be deciding on whether to lift minimum NatHERS ratings from 6 to 7 Stars for new homes, and whether to introduce an ‘energy budget’ that in effect will require more efficient appliances and solar on most new homes.
Higher standards will be a win for households. Renew modelling and the government’s own analysis find that energy bill savings will be higher than the home loan cost to meet 7-Star standards, meaning households will have more money in their pocket from day one. Research by ClimateWorks Australia and ASBEC finds that delaying cost-effective improvements to energy efficiency requirements in the Code would cost $2 billion in wasted household energy bills to 2030, while locking in 15 million tonnes of carbon emissions. There are further benefits for even higher efficiency and dropping gas connections to go all-electric.
What you can do
Our strategy is to show decision makers that there is community support for change. For too long, governments have seen building standards as just an ‘industry issue’ – but this matters to all of us, and we need to demonstrate it.
The key action needed is for residents to contact their local MP and Federal election candidates. Federal government support will be important to get the decision over the line – but so far only states and territories have publicly declared support. The Federal election is an important chance to make sure representatives are seeing community support for better homes. See Renew’s guide to contacting your MP.
- A guide to contacting your MP (including sample email)
- Feedback form to let Renew know how your MP responded
- Fact sheets on the benefits of lifting standards by location: Hobart, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Northern Territory (or all of them together)
- Presentation to Renew branches on the campaign for higher standards
- Community petition for net zero homes in the NCC
- Community Coalition for Healthy and Affordable Homes joint statement – 55 organisations backing higher standards
- Households Better Off: lowering energy bills with the 2022 National Construction Code – Renew report modelling the financial impact of change for households
- Build To Perform – research on societal benefits by ClimateWorks Australia and ASBEC
- Net zero emissions for National Construction Code – community campaign site
- Special Briefing: energy efficiency in the National Construction Code 2022 – video of webinar hosted by Renew 16/9/2021
- Better building standards are good for the climate, your health, and your wallet. Here’s what the National Construction Code could do better – The Conversation (article)