Raising new home energy standards
On February 1, COAG Energy Ministers made a commitment to lift energy ratings for new homes to 6.5 or 7 stars.
The changes are due to come into effect in the National Construction Code in 2022. They are outlined in the Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings, a national plan towards zero-energy (and carbon) ready buildings passed by the Ministers on February 1.
Donna Luckman, CEO of Renew, said the organisation was pleased with the decision:
“This a good step on the road to improving the energy efficiency of new Australian homes and renovations to a level fit for the 21st century,” Ms Luckman said. “We are also heartened that COAG is committed to a process of reviewing the standards for existing homes.”
The change has come after months of campaigning by Renew and other consumer organisations calling for a long-overdue lift of the 6-star building standard.
Energy prices have been rising rapidly and the need to address climate change has become more urgent, but our energy performance standards have been standing still.
Stronger energy standards in the Code could cut household energy bills by hundreds of dollars a year and cumulative emissions in Australia by millions of tonnes in coming decades, also relieving pressure on the nation’s ageing energy infrastructure.
“While happy with COAG’s commitment, we realise there is still a long way to go,” Ms Luckman said.
“Renew will continue to work with governments and advocate for increased home energy efficiency in coming years as technology improves and practises change.”