People of NSW deserve better homes

15 Aug 2023

The Green Building Council of Australia has joined key industry figures in applauding the NSW Government for its commitment to improve the quality of homes, ensuring that new homes in the state will be comfortable to live in, have lower energy bills, and be better for the environment.

Green Building Council of Australia CEO, Davina Rooney welcomed today’s announcement from the NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, the Hon. Paul Scully that the new residential energy efficiency standards will commence in October this year, as planned. 

“Last year’s commitment from Australia’s Building Ministers to adopt increased energy efficiency requirements for new homes in the National Construction Code was a huge step forward for Australia, and any further delays will
have unacceptable impacts,” Ms Rooney said.

“The new energy efficiency requirements will ensure new homes will have features allowing them to be heated and cooled more efficiently, which translates to cheaper energy bills,” Ms Rooney said. “Delaying this any further will have immediate impacts on Australians who want homes that are healthier and cheaper to run, and it will impact on our climate goals.”

Ms Rooney said research shows that people are willing to invest in more energy efficient homes.
“An energy efficient home commands a premium on the sale price of up to 10% according to research from the University of Wollongong, while research from Domain shows they have greater buyer interest and sell faster.” Jamie Durie OAM, TV personality, renowned landscape architect and sustainability advocate, commended the NSW Government for maintaining their commitment to the October timeframe to enact the energy efficiency requirements.

“This commitment from NSW is so important because we need all hands on deck to create meaningful change,” Mr Durie said.

“The way we build homes now will impact the goals that our children have for the future.” Stockland’s Group Head of Sustainability and Delivery, Petie Walker welcomed the NSW Government’s approach to new BASIX energy standards saying “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 BASIX 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,” Ms Walker said.

Lendlease’s Head of Sustainability, Ann Austin said “we have always supported objectives to create great places and precincts that are inclusive, sustainable and climate resilient."

“We acknowledge the NSW government is trying to strike a balance and we encourage them to continue efforts to transition the built environment to net zero as this has the effect of levelling the playing field and lifts the whole industry up,” Ms Austin said.

Other public figures have backed the change, noting that it is overdue. 

Jon Dee, sustainable business advocate, co-founder of the Planet Ark and DoSomething organisations and former NSW Australian of the Year, says it’s a sensible move forward.

"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,” Mr Dee said.

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

Director of Red Cedar Constructions, Trent Clark, says he regularly builds homes to a much higher than required by the new code.

“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,” Mr Clark said.

“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.”

“Building sustainable and energy efficient homes is a lot simpler than people think. If you invest in the core components during the build, you reap the rewards in the long term.”

Following updates to the National Construction Code (NCC) 2022, state and territory governments committed to adopting new energy efficiency standards, with the New South Wales government commencing by 1 October 2023.