26 September 2023

Capital to lead nation on energy crackdown

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The Territory is to call for an increase to the national minimum energy efficiency requirements for all new homes at tomorrow’s Building Ministers Meeting (26 August).

Announcing her support for updating the standards, the Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction, Rebecca Vassarotti said Building Ministers were to consider changes to increasing the minimum energy efficiency requirements from a six to a seven-star energy rating.

“While the ACT is moving forward to implementing minimum standard for ceiling insulation for rental properties, our national standards have not been changed in more than a decade and they are falling further and further behind international and best-practice standards,” Ms Vassarotti said.

“Everyone should be able to live in a home that is comfortable and energy efficient but due to poor energy efficiency in our buildings, many people are living in homes that are expensive to heat in winter and cool in summer,” she said.

“Rental properties that are not energy efficient lead to higher energy bills and sometimes dangerously cold or hot houses for the people that call them home.”

Ms Vassarotti said it was often the case that people with the least capacity to pay had no choice but to live in properties that were the most expensive to heat and cool.

She said raising the energy efficiency requirements for new homes to a minimum seven-star rating would significantly lower household energy bills, cut Australia’s emissions and reduce the social inequality faced by renters.

“Raising it to a minimum seven-star rating is not a particularly ambitious change.” the Minister said, “research shows that at seven stars, we’ll still be behind the codes of other comparable climates and jurisdictions.”

“Now is the time for us to be ambitious and to future-proof new homes from a warming climate,” Ms Vassarotti said.

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