National Energy Efficiency Trajectory
On 1 February the COAG Energy Council (State and Territory Energy Ministers) met and agreed on a forward program for increases to the National Construction Code (NCC) energy efficiency provisions over the next decade and beyond.
The Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings is the result of 12 months consultation by the Federal Department of Environment to deliver on recommendation 31 in the National Energy Productivity Plan (2015) for advancing the NCC energy efficiency provisions.
For residential buildings (Class 1 buildings and Class 2 buildings), the agreed trajectory recommends significant stringency increases for NCC 2022 and NCC 2025 and thereafter more gradual increases every 3 years until a target of ‘zero energy (and carbon) ready buildings is achieved.
As part of setting this trajectory, Ministers have set an actual target of what they are seeking to achieve for energy efficiency policies for buildings, this being:
‘Zero energy (and carbon) ready buildings – zero energy and carbon ready buildings have an energy efficient thermal shell and appliances, have sufficiently low energy use and have the relevant set-up so they are ‘ready’ to achieve net zero energy and carbon usage, if they are combined with renewable or decarbonised energy systems on-site or off-site.’
The target, whilst qualitative in nature, sets parameters for energy efficiency standards going forward and will be a measuring stick to enable post implementation analysis of NCC changes to determine their effectiveness. This national target helps to focus attention on the need to take a holistic approach to home design and construction, rather than simply focusing on star ratings and air conditioning.
HIA has been consulted throughout the development of the Department of Environment’s report to the COAG Energy Council and will continue to provide input as the work program is implemented.
Energy ministers referred the Trajectory onto the Building Ministers Forum in February 2019. The Building Ministers agreed to task the ABCB with scoping possible changes to the NCC in consideration of the Trajectory and reporting back to it by the end of April with advice on options about how the trajectory would best be managed over the coming NCC cycles.