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COAG Energy Ministers Support Existing Building Trajectory

December 15, 2019

The COAG Energy Council that consists of State and Territory Energy Ministers met on 22 November and agreed on a national plan that sets a program for improving the energy efficiency performance of existing residential and commercial buildings. This decision follows the decision in February 2019 on the new buildings trajectory which has now been passed onto Building Ministers to deliver through the National Construction Code (NCC).

Whilst in February Ministers supported proposed energy efficiency stringency increases for new buildings as part of NCC 2022, the existing buildings trajectory is an important step showing Ministers acknowledge the issues HIA has raised in respect to the problem and the opportunity that existing buildings present rather than the continual focus of energy efficiency policies targeting new buildings.

The existing building trajectory addresses three core themes:

  • Enabling mechanisms to provide the foundations for improvements, this includes:
    • Developing practical guidance for households about energy efficiency upgrades
    • Industry training on improving skills and knowledge on practical upgrades
    • Rating tools to assist in informing what current performance is and where improvements could be made.
  • Targeted polices to achieved intended objectives, this includes:
    • Introducing a mandatory disclosure scheme (proposed for 2023), which provides a disclosure of the energy efficiency performance of the building at the point of sale
    • Introducing minimum standards for rental buildings (proposed for 2025)
    • Strengthening and streamlining the energy efficiency requirements for renovations and improving state and territory approaches to renovations and additions.
  • Supporting measures, this includes:
    • Targeted financial incentives, including assisting industry to transition to higher standards and address issues of capital constraints when households are looking at energy efficiency upgrades particularly with renovations and additions.
    • Improving and streamlining current state and territory energy efficiency upgrades schemes, where they exist.
    • Other targeted incentives, including investigating ways to drive uptake of high performing building products.

These measures are long term initiatives and the detail to underpin them still needs to be worked through over the next 12-24 months.

The report and Ministers decision can be found here