Home builders

Homebuilders call for looser energy standards

“You may have to work harder with lighting, heating and air conditioning or pool pumps if you’re staying six-star thermal performance. But our point is that it’s more cost effective for the builder and the cost of running the house for the owner. It’s a win-win. »

Lobby groups have long disagreed over energy standards. The EIS indicates that energy efficiency is more difficult to achieve in single-family homes with large spaces such as voids than in smaller, more confined apartments.

The shift, which only Victoria is believed to oppose, follows another setback to energy efficiency policies – that of NSW Planning Minister Anthony Roberts’ decision to drop the environmental policies of his predecessor, Rob Stokes, such as banning dark colored roofs to prevent heat island effects.

But it has put the housing industry at odds with the country’s shifting tone after a federal election on the key issue of climate change, Green Building Council chief executive Davina Rooney said.

The new measure failed to improve a home’s energy efficiency, Ms Rooney said.

“Australian homes are like unsealed tents,” she said. “If we don’t increase efficiency, we don’t solve heat stress, we don’t solve grid resiliency issues. Instead, we allow them to consume heaps and throw renewable energy into it.

The HIA policy was not concerned with energy efficiency but with increasing the use of renewable energy such as solar power, Ms Rooney said.

“It’s very good, but the network will not be able to function. I love renewables as much as anyone, but we have to get efficiency first and then use the whole house to get to net zero from there. »