New energy efficiency standard for Canberra rentals


The ACT Government will introduce a new minimum energy efficiency standard for ACT rental properties from April 2023, with a phase in period to November 2026. 

The new regulation will require rental homes with no ceiling insulation or existing insulation rated less than R2 to have insulation installed or upgraded to R5, the level typically used in new builds. Rental homes with ceiling insulation currently rated at R2 or above will not need upgrades as they already meet the requirements.

Over 60% of rental homes are already compliant with the proposed standard and this standard will ensure that the remainder of the homes meet this requirement, including both private rentals and public housing properties.

“Everyone deserves a comfortable, safe, and healthy home, and the new minimum energy efficiency standard for ceiling insulation will help to achieve this,” said Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Shane Rattenbury.

“Many renters in the ACT live in housing that is not well insulated and this impacts their health, comfort, and happiness at home. It’s unfair that those with the least capacity to pay often live in properties that are the most expensive to heat and cool. Up to 35% of heat is lost through the ceiling over the colder months in an uninsulated Canberra house.

“In addition to meeting the standard in public housing properties, the ACT Government will invest in public housing energy efficiency improvements. This will include replacing gas appliances (such as hot water and heating and cooling systems) with energy efficient electric alternatives that are cheaper to run and support the ACT’s transition away from gas by 2045.

“These minimum standards are essential for assisting renters with their quality of life and energy costs, and the phase-in period and no-interest loans will assist rental providers to satisfy the new requirements in a balanced way. 

“Insulation is the most effective and efficient way to quickly improve energy efficiency in rental properties. The Government will continue to examine other energy efficiency measures that could be implemented in future years.”

To find out more about the legislation, visit the ACT Government’s Justice and Community Safety website.

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