NSW leadership lays the foundation for better homes

29 Sep 2023

On 1 October 2023, New South Wales becomes the first jurisdiction to adopt new residential energy efficiency standards – and the state’s homeowners will be the big beneficiaries, says the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).

In 2022, Australia’s building ministers agreed to update the National Construction Code (NCC) with new minimum energy efficiency standards. The NSW Government is the first to adopt the new energy efficiency standards, with other states to transition in 2024.

“We applaud the NSW Government for leading Australia towards better homes,” says the GBCA’s Chief Executive Officer, Davina Rooney.

“All Australians deserve to live in homes that are efficient, comfortable and healthy.

“The new residential energy efficiency standards will give new homeowners in New South Wales confidence that their homes are designed and oriented to suit their climate and location. They will be better insulated, so they are more comfortable to live in all year round. And they’ll boast energy saving design features and technology that make them cheaper to run,” Ms Rooney said.

Leading developers, home builders and public figured have backed the new residential energy efficiency standards.

Jamie Durie OAM, TV personality, renowned landscape architects and sustainability advocate

“This commitment from NSW is so important because we need all hands on deck to create meaningful change. The way we build homes now will impact the goals that our children have for the future.”

John Dee, sustainable business advocate, co-founder of Planet Ark and DoSomething, former Australian of the Year

“Australia has fallen way behind other countries with the quality of our new home builds which has resulted in people paying too much for their energy bills. These changes will help to reduce our energy and heating bills and they’ll make our new homes more comfortable.

“More efficient new homes also offer a proven way to tackle climate change. By using less energy, these homes will generate less greenhouse emissions.”

Petie Walker, Group Head of Sustainability and Delivery, Stockland

“As Australia transitions to a cleaner energy future, Stockland is committed to doing its part to reduce its own emissions while supporting its customers to reduce their carbon footprint.

“We encourage the rollout of the energy standards in a way that is manageable for all parts of the supply chain, which is particularly important given the cost pressures of the current macro-economic environment.

Ann Austin, Head of Sustainability, Lendlease

"We have always supported objectives to create great places and precincts that are inclusive, sustainable and climate resilient. Improving requirements related to energy efficiency in our homes is good for everyone – today and tomorrow. By lifting and levelling the playing field to a higher standard, the NSW Government is helping all Australians enjoy more comfortable, cheaper to run homes and taking another step to transition the built environment to net zero emissions."

Trent Clark, Director, Red Cedar Constructions

“There is a clear benefit for the community in improving the energy efficiency of new homes. Installing huge air conditioning systems and poor performing windows and doors should be a thing of the past.

“For us, it just wouldn’t make sense to create a home and then skimp on the quality of the final product. We are proud to be able to quantify to our customers how great these homes will be and then deliver on that promise.”

Ms Rooney said research shows people are willing to invest in more energy efficient homes. Research undertaken by the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre at the University of Wollongong in 2020 found that homes with energy-saving features attract a price premium of as much as 10 per cent.

“At a time when Australians are facing cost of living pressures and some of the highest energy bills in the world, the shift to energy efficient homes makes sense. NSW is leading the way, but the signposts are all pointing in one direction: towards more efficient, comfortable and healthy homes,” Ms Rooney concluded.