Hans and Anne van Gemert, Castlemaine
Just before Christmas 2018, a COAG (Council of Australian Governments) meeting took place in Adelaide at which all state and federal energy ministers met to discuss raising the minimum energy efficiency standard for all new homes to seven stars. In the end they decided to defer a decision and keep the present six-star standard which has been in place since 2010. As a result they lost a valuable opportunity to reduce our nation’s collective greenhouse gas emissions and to provide more comfort and health benefits to new home owners.
It is sad to see energy ministers representing all Australian governments failing to utilise an easy and low-cost means to improve home energy efficiency and reduce the energy bills of new home owners. This lack of urgency in preparing for climate change is going to cost us dearly in the future.
A coalition of more than 50 national community groups including ACOSS, ATA, Choice, Natural Shelter, etc., have recently advocated raising the minimum energy standard of new homes. Anyone familiar with building specifications is aware how easy it is to achieve the present six-star rating.
A modest increase in the minimum standard will provide immediate and lasting benefits to home owners as well as contributing to a decrease in carbon emissions.
It has taken many years to replace seven different building codes with a national standard, the BCA (Building Code of Australia). If the Morrison Government is not interested in bringing our BCA up to date with other technically advanced nations in the world, it cannot be believed about its stated plan to reduce electricity bills.