COAG signs up for low energy buildings

A standardised no-carbon, no-energy building framework is one step closer following an agreement of Council of Australian Governments (COAG) earlier this week.

The COAG meeting saw State Energy ministers agree to the Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings framework, which outlines a staged approach to carbon and energy-efficiency improvements to the National Construction Code (NCC).

The framework will see significant improvements to energy efficiency provisions in the NCC from 2022 to 2025, before incrementally improving carbon efficiency in step with technological changes.

The Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) welcomed the announcement, saying that the framework to improve resilience to extreme weather, offset stress on the electricity grid and improve overall energy performance of the country’s building stock.

“The National Construction Code sets minimum standards for all new Australian buildings, so it is the best place to start to improve building energy performance. By strengthening the National Construction Code we can ensure new buildings are ‘zero carbon ready’ to plug into a net zero emissions economy by 2050,” ASBEC’s Executive Director Suzanne Toumbourou said.

Modelling within the Trajectory found potential improvements under the proposed NCC 2022 could save residents $650 a year in hot and cold climates – including Canberra, Townsville and Darwin – and about $170 annually in more temperate areas of Sydney, Melbourne andAdelaide. Changes to commercial buildings could generate a net benefit of $25bn by 2050.

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