Renew calls on Victorian Government to improve Energy Performance Standards for Rental Homes

Image: Jack Lovel

Renew has called on the Victorian government to improve household energy performance for renters.

Rental homes are less energy-efficient, less prepared for climate change and more expensive to run than owner-occupied homes.

Improving household energy performance reduces bills and tends to pay for itself over time. But in a system where renters can only save on bills when landlords pay the upfront costs of adjustments, too many renters are locked out from enjoying the benefits of energy efficient homes.

As a result, Victorian renters are paying high power bills and are vulnerable to the serious health impacts of winter cold and summer heatwaves.

The Victorian government is in the process of setting new regulations for rental properties following its successful passage of legislation to amend the Residential Tenancies Act (1997) last year. The regulations will strengthen renters’ rights and set minimum standards for rental properties.

This is a great opportunity to protect renters from high bills and poor energy performance. Strong standards can lift the performance of Victoria’s rental stock over time at very low capital cost.

The minimum standards will set the tone for what landlords invest in rental home modifications – so missing the opportunity for strong standards would lock in decades of poor performance, high bills and high greenhouse gas emissions.

Renew has called on the Victorian government to:

  • Require newly install heaters to meet a minimum efficiency standard of 4 Stars
  • Close loopholes in the regulations so apartments don’t miss out on energy improvements
  • Ensure renters can benefit from insulation, efficient hot water, draught proofing, and cooling
  • Improve information available to renters by requiring mandatory disclosure of energy performance