Energy Efficiency Framework Sets Challenge for Government
The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency’s draft National Building Energy Standard-Setting, Assessment and Rating Framework confirms the building industry’s concerns on the minimum requirements for new homes.
The framework importantly suggests further improvements should not be made to the thermal shell of new buildings. Rather, the energy efficiency focus for new buildings should shift to improving fixed appliances, equipment and building services and on-site renewable energy systems. It is a finding that Master Builders strongly supports.
In a submission on the draft framework, Chief Executive Officer of Master Builders Australia, Wilhelm Harnisch renewed the call to Government and the Council of Australian Governments to shift its focus further towards existing buildings to improve energy efficiency.
“Increased stringency for the thermal shell of residential buildings introduced over the past few years is close to an optimum level and supports the argument not to increase energy efficiency stringencies beyond the current six star rating.
“Policy to ensure existing buildings become more energy efficient is the most effective way of achieving carbon abatement and was identified in the COAG National Strategy on Energy Efficiency Blueprint.
“There is $6 trillion in existing stock of buildings to be retrofitted to be more energy efficient and less carbon intensive.
Mr Harnisch called on the Department not to recommend an increase to mandatory energy efficiency requirements beyond six stars.
“Mandatory energy efficiency requirements have been a moving goal post for builders for several years. It has created a major compliance headache and has added up to $10,000 on the cost of a new home. It can be a big barrier for new home buyers.
“People are welcome to go beyond the six stars, but the mandatory level imposed on new home buyers should not increase beyond that.
“Master Builders welcomes the framework findings that mandatory energy efficiency requirements were at the peak of the cost benefit benchmark,” Mr Harnisch concluded.