ACT calls for minimum seven-star energy efficiency requirements


To ensure that all new homes are built for people and planet, the ACT will call for the National Construction Code to be updated to a minimum seven-star energy efficiency requirements at Friday’s Building Ministers Meeting.

At this week’s Building Ministers Meeting, Ministers will consider proposed changes that would increase the minimum energy efficiency requirements for new homes from a six to seven-star energy rating.

ACT Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction Rebecca Vassarotti will support the proposed changes and will call for seven-star energy rating to be the bare minimum.

“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,” Minister Vassarotti 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. It is often the case that those with the least capacity to pay have no choice but to live in properties that are the most expensive to heat and cool.

“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.

“Raising energy efficiency requirements for new homes to a minimum seven-star rating will 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 - 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. The ACT, through its 10-year pathway to world's best practice, intends to do more.”

The following can be attributed to Property Council of Australia, Acting ACT Executive Director, Adele Lausberg:

“Australia's energy standards for new homes haven’t been meaningfully updated in more than a decade while the National Construction Code has sat idle. During this time, the country has fallen further and further behind international standards, and the time has come to catch up with the rest of the world. Increasing the minimum energy efficiency ratings in new homes will slash the energy bills of Canberrans, ease long term cost of living pressures and support the territory’s net-zero ambitions. Our political leaders have an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to reducing emissions and cost of living pressures by implementing these amendments.”

The following can be attributed to Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council, Executive Director, Alison Scotland:

“If we are serious about reducing emissions and living in a healthy, comfortable home, we need to continue the momentum towards stronger energy performance. The 2022 step change from 6 to 7 stars is an important part of the process and cannot be delayed.”