New housing in Australia must meet minimum energy performance requirements. The Conversation’s analysis found is that four in five new houses are being built to the minimum standard and a negligible proportion to an optimal performance standard.
Before these standards were introduced the average performance of housing was found to be around 1.5 stars. The current minimum across most of Australia is six stars under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS).
This six-star minimum falls short of what is optimal in terms of environmental, economic and social outcomes. It’s also below the minimum set by many other countries.
Higher energy efficiency or even environmental sustainability in housing provides not only significant benefits to the individual but also to society. And these improvements can be delivered for little additional cost.