We need healthy homes

Community groups call for a strategy to improve the energy performance of all Australian homes.

Renew has written to Building Ministers on behalf of a national coalition of community organisations urging action on residential efficiency standards.

At their upcoming July meeting, Australian Building Ministers will be considering opportunities for raising energy performance standards for new homes in the 2022 update of the National Construction Code.

Given their long lived nature, homes built today will continue to have profound impacts on millions of Australians’ energy bills, health and right to a safe climate for decades into the future. It is therefore critical that consumers’ long-term interests are taken into consideration in decision-making, and since late 2018 Renew has been working with more than 60 community organisations around the country to ensure that happens.

This week, we’ve shared this joint statement ‘All Australians Deserve a Healthy, Safe and Affordable Home’ with State and Territory Building Ministers to make the case for a national strategy for low energy homes.

Missing the opportunity to raise energy standards in the 2019 National Construction Code has already locked in an estimated $1.1 billion in unnecessary household energy bills for Australian households and 3 million tonnes of additional emissions by 2050. Missing yet another opportunity in 2022 will compound these costs to consumers, at a time when household bill savings are most needed to offset rising energy prices and stimulate household spending and wider economic activity.

The case for action is further strengthened by the reality that industry leaders are already delivering higher performing homes at negligible additional cost now. In many cases, a 1-Star improvement can be achieved through better design alone – at zero additional cost.

All consumers – not only the most informed – deserve the benefits of a higher performing home. Achieving that will require lifting the bar to make efficient, sustainable homes the ‘new normal’ by increasing minimum energy performance standards in the NCC.

Read the community joint statement for healthy, affordable homes.