The Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) has welcomed the announcement that building ministers have jointly agreed to advance energy efficiency provisions for new homes in the National Construction Code (NCC).
ASBEC executive director Suzanne Toumbourou says energy efficient homes can deliver more resilience to extreme weather, better comfort and reduce stress on the electricity grid, providing an imperative to act now on improving energy performance.
“The homes built today will still be operating in 2050 – at a time when Australia will need to be at or near net zero emissions,” says Toumbourou.
“In setting minimum standards for all new buildings, improved energy efficiency provisions in the National Construction Code can help to ensure new homes are ready to plug into a net zero emissions economy.”
ASBEC has worked in partnership with ClimateWorks Australia to produce Built to Perform - An industry led pathway to a zero carbon-ready building code, which identifies a cost-effective long term pathway for energy requirements in the National Construction Code; providing certainty for the construction industry and savings for householders and businesses.
The Building Ministers' Forum agreement to enhance energy efficiency for residential buildings was informed by the COAG Energy Council’s trajectory for low energy buildings, which aligns closely with recommendations in ASBEC and ClimateWorks’ Built to Perform report.
Built to Perform showed that stronger energy standards in the National Construction Code could reduce household energy bills by up to $900 each year, contributing to up to $29 billion in reduced energy bills and 78 million tonnes of cumulative emissions savings across the economy by 2050.
A broad alliance of community and consumer groups including the Australian Council of Social Service, CHOICE, the Consumer Action Law Centre, Community Housing Industry Association and Renew has also called for better energy performance standards for housing in the interests of healthier, safer and more affordable homes for all Australians.
“The decision by the Building Ministers' Forum paves the way for energy bill savings, lower emissions and more comfortable and safe Australian homes,” says Toumbourou. “It’s a long time coming and a very welcome first step. As part of this process, it is important to set out a long term pathway for energy requirements in the National Construction Code, providing a clear policy direction and certainty for industry.”
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