|Renew, Australia’s leading not-for-profit organisation promoting sustainable living, has expressed disappointment at the deferral of a decision to raise the energy performance standards for Australian homes by COAG Energy Ministers yesterday.
“This is a lost opportunity,” said Donna Luckman, Renew’s CEO. “Raising the outdated 6-Star standard for new homes and major renovations is an obvious, low-cost way to cut energy bills and carbon emissions. As it stands, this decision has now been delayed.”
“With energy prices continuing to rise and the need to address climate change ever more urgent, we can’t afford to keep letting so much expensive energy simply blow out our leaky windows and ceilings,” Ms Luckman said.
“The National Construction Code will be a positive step along the pathway to bringing Australian standards into line with world’s best practice, which we currently lag by a long way.”
Renew has been part of a coalition of more than 50 community groups including ACOSS, CHOICE and National Shelter advocating for a lifting of the energy standards of Australian homes.
ACOSS energy adviser Kellie Caught said improving home energy efficiency would save households billions of dollars in energy bills.
“The Morrison Government has said that one of its top priorities is reducing electricity bills,” Ms Caught said. “The COAG Energy Ministers’ meeting was to have been a golden opportunity to drive down electricity bills while acting on climate change. And now that is effectively up in the air.”
Ms Luckman said that once higher standards become the new industry norm, the purchasing power of volume builders and the spread of new skills and innovation across the industry combine to bring additional costs down even further.
“Nearly one in 10 Victorians are already building above the minimum 6-Star standard and reaping the benefits. But the average home buyer doesn’t realise they’re buying a home that’s going to cost them much more in energy bills over the years than necessary.
“Lifting energy standards will help to make higher performing homes the ‘new normal’, ensuring all consumers – not just the most informed – can enjoy the benefits of healthier, more comfortable homes with lower energy bills and a smaller environmental footprint.”
Renew is Australia’s leading not-for-profit organisation promoting sustainable living, publishing the magazines Renew: technology for a sustainable future, and Sanctuary: modern green homes.