Energy efficiency standards for housing need to shift: ASBEC

More energy efficient houses provide a win-win-win opportunity said ASBEC’s president, Professor Ken Maher
Energy efficiency standards for housing need to shift: ASBEC
Jonathan ChancellorAugust 31, 2021
The draft National Construction Code provisions on energy efficient residential buildings was an important step towards more healthy and comfortable homes for Australian families. Minimum energy efficiency standards for housing haven’t shifted substantially for over a decade, Professor Ken Maher from the The Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) noted this week. Maher was welcoming the release by the Australian Building Codes Board of the NCC public consultation draft as an important step change towards more healthy and comfortable homes for Australian families. “Australia’s homeowners and tenants need certainty that they are gaining the health, comfort, efficiency and environmental benefits that they could reasonably expect.” “Low energy homes can provide great outcomes in terms of reducing energy bills and emissions, whilst also delivering much more,” added Professor Tony Arnel, chair of ASBEC’s Building Quality Taskforce. “More energy efficient buildings offer more resilience to extreme weather, better comfort and reduce stress on the electricity grid.” “At a time when bill savings and consumer empowerment are more important than ever, we welcome the Australian Building Codes Board’s actions to facilitate improved home energy for NCC 2022,” Professor Arnel said. The research in ASBEC’s publication, Built to Perform, shows that delaying cost-effective changes to the Code by just three years (for example, implementing changes in the 2025 Code instead of 2022) could cost $2 billion in household energy bills between now and 2030. The delay would also lock in 9 million tonnes of emissions to 2030 and 22 million tonnes to 2050. “If we are serious about reducing emissions, saving money and increasing resilience of our buildings, we need to continue the momentum towards stronger energy performance – and this 2022 step change for residential buildings is an important part of the process,” said ASBEC’s interim executive director, Alison Scotland. “Buildings offer one of the most cost-effective, jobs-rich opportunities for energy savings and emissions abatement, with broader benefits that we can’t afford to ignore.” said Prof Maher. “The Government’s commitment to energy productivity for households is the right priority right now and there is a big opportunity to do much more in coming years.”

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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