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Climate Resilient Homes

We're calling for action to make our homes healthier, more affordable and sustainable

Australian building efficiency standards lag behind other major economies, leaving many Australians living in homes that are cold and damp in winter, dangerously hot in summer or cost a fortune in energy bills to keep at a healthy temperature. Energy waste from inefficient homes is also a significant contributor to Australia’s carbon emissions, while climate change impacts such as heatwaves will increasingly expose vulnerable people living in poor quality housing to serious health risks.

Many Australians are recognising the cost-saving, health and environmental benefits of improving the energy and water efficiency of their home. But many more are held back from taking action because they don’t realise their home could be better, don’t know where to get reliable advice, can’t afford the upfront costs or they rent their home. Only government action to address these barriers will ensure the benefits of sustainable homes are shared by everyone.

Renew is leading a national coalition of community, consumer and environment groups calling for action to raise the energy and water performance of all Australian homes – new and existing. We need a ‘step change’ in minimum efficiency requirements for new homes in the next update of the National Construction Code in 2022. And we need commitment to a range of regulatory and other policy options that will drive improvements in the performance of Australia’s 9.5 million existing homes.

Read our call to action “All Australians deserve a healthy, safe, affordable home” 

Beyond 6-star for new homes

Beyond 6-star for new homes

There’s been no substantive increase in efficiency performance requirements for new homes since the current 6-star standard was introduced in 2010. More than half the homes standing in 2050 will have been built after 2019, meaning today’s standards will continue to influence liveability for millions of Australians for decades to come.

We can’t afford to miss the next opportunity to raise standards for new homes in the 2022 update of the National Construction Code.

Industry leaders are already building higher performing homes with annual energy bills of less than $500 (representing savings of more than $2,000 a year) for as little as $6,000 additional cost (often much less). In many cases, a 1-star improvement can be achieved through better design alone.

Small business leading the way

Bringing existing homes up to scratch

Bringing existing homes up to scratch

The vast majority of Australian homes were built minimum efficiency regulations were introduced in 2003, and average only 1.7 stars in terms of energy efficiency. Without action, this large stock of homes will continue to impose significant energy hardship, health and climate risks into the future. Efficiency upgrades for the average home could cut household energy bills by up to $1,300 a year depending on region.

People on low incomes, renters and social housing tenants are more likely to live in poor quality housing and rely on inefficient appliances that are cheap to buy but expensive to run. But those most in need are typically locked out of access to efficiency upgrades because they can’t afford the upfront costs, face language, cultural or other barriers, or rent their homes. Renters face a ‘split incentive’ whereby landlords have little incentive to invest in efficiency because the benefits largely go to tenants.

We’re working with our community coalition partners to call for a range of policy measures to drive improvements in our existing housing. These include setting minimum efficiency standards for rental homes, requiring homes for sale to disclose their efficiency rating, raising appliance standards and improving information and incentives for households.

Latest Climate Resilient Homes news
Renew submission to Trajectory for Low Energy Existing Buildings

Renew submission to Trajectory for Low Energy Existing Buildings

Renew welcomes the opportunity to shape policy options for improving the efficiency of existing homes

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Welcome progress on energy standards

Welcome progress on energy standards

Building Ministers’ decision to advance energy provisions for new homes is an important step in the right direction.

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We need healthy homes

We need healthy homes

Renew has written to Building Ministers urging action on residential efficiency standards.

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