Media release: Building code upgrade an important step forward 26 August 2022

The Energy Efficiency Council (EEC) today welcomed the decision of Building Ministers to increase the minimum energy efficiency standard for new homes to 7 stars under the National Construction Code.

The upgrade - the first in over a decade - means that householders and renters will enjoy the benefits of healthier, more comfortable homes, while saving up to $576 each year on their energy bills.

EEC CEO Luke Menzel welcomed this first step along a trajectory to net zero-ready homes:

“Today’s decision means householders will save energy, reduce emissions and lower their bills. New 7 star houses need less energy to stay comfortable, meaning a win for households and a win for the climate,” Mr Menzel said. 

As part of a broad coalition of industry and civil society groups, the EEC congratulated Building Ministers on their leadership, but notes that further increases in the energy performance of new buildings will be required.

“This is the first step in the trajectory towards houses that are ready for net zero. There’s more work to be done in making sure Australians are housed in affordable, energy efficient and climate-safe buildings - but we know it’s a challenge we can meet.”

Piecemeal implementation will increase costs for householders

The EEC is disappointed that some jurisdictions have decided to delay the implementation of the changes until 2025. Delaying energy efficiency improvements is a false economy, and will see new homeowners in those jurisdictions short changed.

“We know it’s a difficult time in many industries, with rising prices and uncertainty. But improving the energy efficiency of our buildings is one of the fastest ways to reduce emissions and combat high energy bills, and we can do it right now.” Mr Menzel said.

“Ultimately, householders will lose out through a lack of action on energy efficiency - through higher costs of living and colder houses. We urge those Ministers to act to improve the energy performance of new homes as soon as possible.”

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For further information contact:

Tim Fisher
Head of Engagement
Energy Efficiency Council

0414 893 313