Verification methods for housing approvals

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Renew’s comments on Verification methods for compliance in the National Construction Code.

New minimum standards for how homes are built are set to come into force in 2022. This is a great opportunity to improve outdated standards and make homes more energy efficient.

Better household energy performance means better health, lower bills, less pressure on the electricity grid, and lower greenhouse gas emissions. But Australia’s current standards on energy efficiency are lagging behind other countries and leaving residents worse off.

Renew sits on the technical advisory committee that is informing how new energy efficiency standards will be developed and added to the National Construction Code. Over the coming months, we will be making sure the voice of consumers is heard as we push for Australia’s housing standards to be increased to at least a minimum 7 star rating.

We believe the priority when developing compliance pathways should be to ensure that a genuine step-change in energy performance can be delivered by an increase in stringency in the 2022 NCC.

We are providing input to the committee on technical assumptions that will be used when updating the Verification compliance pathway in the NCC, including infiltration, thermal bridging, ceiling fans, and alignment with NatHERS compliance.

For the first time, Verification Using a Reference Building is expected to be a compliance option for apartment buildings (class 2 dwellings). Renew welcomes options to improve the energy performance of buildings, and calls for clear objective metrics for energy performance to ensure that the rules are enforced.

You can read our feedback on the Verification Methods issues paper here.