Big step forward for the energy future of Australian homes

19 Jul 2019

The energy efficiency of new homes is set to improve with the nation’s building ministers agreeing to strengthen provisions in the National Construction Code (NCC) for residential buildings.

The commitment, made at yesterday’s Building Ministers Forum (BMF) in Sydney, has been warmly welcomed by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).

CEO Davina Rooney said the GBCA had advocated strongly for the changes alongside other industry leaders and that governments should be congratulated for taking this important step forward.

“This is a major milestone in our journey towards a low emissions future and one that recognises the tremendous opportunities in the built environment,” Ms Rooney said.

“Greater energy efficiency in our residential buildings will mean healthier, more comfortable homes as well as reduced energy costs for households.”

The update of the residential energy provisions will be informed by the COAG Energy Council’s national plan that sets a trajectory towards zero energy (and carbon) ready buildings for Australia. This trajectory aligns closely with research-based recommendations from ASBEC, in partnership with ClimateWorks, and includes the implementation of cost-effective increases to energy performance standards.

“ASBEC’s work highlighted how urgently we need this update of energy requirements in the residential sector, as well as the potential benefits of making cost-effective improvements to building efficiency,” Ms Rooney said.

“We are proud to be a member of ASBEC’s Building Code Taskgroup and welcome the certainty the BMF’s decision will bring to the construction industry.”

Ms Rooney said the GBCA was continuing to champion the transformation of the residential sector through its work on homes. 

“As the source of more than 57 per cent of built environment emissions in Australia, it is crucial that we leverage the residential sector’s potential to help reach our emissions targets under the Paris Agreement,” Ms Rooney said.

“We will continue advocating for the establishment of targets that align with the transition to net zero emissions, along with a forward trajectory for NCC energy requirements to achieve these goals.

“We look forward to working with the Australian Building Codes Board as it begins consultation on options to implement the new provisions in the NCC.”