'Tents to Castles: Building Energy Efficient, Cost Saving Aussie Homes' - Climate Council's Latest Report
This post is a slightly edited version of a post received by email list from the Climate Council, April 21, 2022.
Australia’s historically poor energy efficiency standards mean that many of our homes are like ‘glorified tents’ (1): damp, draughty, ice cold in winter and stifling in summer. This makes them energy guzzlers, highly expensive to run and more polluting than they need to be. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
The Climate Council’s latest report, Tents to Castles: Building Energy Efficient, Cost-Saving Aussie Homes (2), has found that by increasing the minimum energy efficiency standards for new homes from 6 to 7-Stars, we can dramatically cut household emissions, reduce energy bills, and improve people’s health and wellbeing.
For the first time in 11 years, these minimum standards in the National Construction Code are under review. As we are based in Victoria, our State has already voiced support for implementing a minimum 7-Star energy efficiency rating! You might like to send an email to thank Minister Wynne for his Government voicing support for this update, and encourage the new standards to be enforced from 1 September 2022.
Australians have some of the most expensive energy bills in the world (3), but this report, Tents To Castles, finds that living in a 7-star, all electric house in any capital city in Australia would save occupants $450 on average per year in heating and cooling costs, compared to the current building standard.
Increasing the energy efficiency of our homes doesn’t just make them safer, more comfortable and cheaper to run, it's also a great way to reduce emissions! Adding an extra star to each new home being built in Australia would mean 25% fewer emissions compared to homes at the minimum standard now - the equivalent of taking a car off the road for an entire year for each new home built (4). With 1.1 million homes expected to be built across the country over the next 5 years (5), the sooner we take action, the bigger the impact we can have on Australia’s emission reduction efforts.
Australians deserve far better from our homes, but we need the help of all state and territory governments to realise this. We must show them that Australians want homes that are energy efficient, comfortable and cheaper to run.
The opportunity to update the National Construction Code will not come around again until 2025. State and Territory Ministers are preparing to review these regulations, as part of the Building Ministers’ Forum, so now is the time to make our voices heard. Delaying this action by even another 3 years will lock in higher bills and add 9 million tonnes of emissions this decade - a decision we cannot afford.
P.S. Want to learn more about the benefits of increasing the minimum energy efficiency standard for new homes to 7-Stars? Read the Tents to Castles report here.
(1) Australian houses are just glorified tents in winter, Sydney Morning Herald, June 2015
(2,3,4,5) Tents to Castles: Building energy efficient, cost-saving Aussie homes, Climate Council, April 2022
Check out our posts and Facebook to find out more about events - both upcoming and recent - issues and items of interest.
Banner - launch of REB's Munro Avenue Pre School 'behind the meter' solar panel installation, May 6 '21