21 Apr Building Industry wants to delay 7 stars
An increase from the mandatory 6-star minimum energy rating for new homes in Australia to 7-star is being resisted by large volume builders and advocate groups. They are calling for the October 2023 introduction of the increased standard to be delayed by up to two years due to the additional cost they claim for new homes to comply, at a time where ongoing effects of Covid on materials and labour costs have already seen a strain on new housing affordability.
Above is the Youtube video I have made to discuss this topic, but scroll on below if you prefer to read words:
We have seen large building companies go bust, partly as a result of the increased cost of building after fixed price new home contracts have been signed, where already slim margins are pushed to the limit in order to have a relatively low price tage on new home packages. As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. If you try to build the most house that you can for the lowest price something is going to give. Unfortunately most Australians are going down this exact route with a vast majority of new homes being built by volume builders, rather than custom designs being built by smaller builders.
I appreciate that cost can be the main deciding factor as to whether a family can afford to build a new home or not, but if they are in the situation to entertain the prospect of a new build, is building to an already low energy efficiency standard really the wisest way to save a small percentage of the building cost? 6-star is not a high standard. Its a minimum. And even with that minimum the ongoing heating and coolings costs of that home can be high and still not even provide good thermal comfort evenly throughout the house and all year round. A 7.5 star home on the other hand built in the Central Victoria climate can use half the amount of energy required to keep the building within a comfortable energy band. Our own all-electric home which we have now lived in for a year, rated at 7.6 stars has cost $1,000 to run the whole home. I have heard of some peoples gas ducted heating costing them that much alone just for the winter. A table of energy loads at different star ratings for your climate area can be found here.
So my point is, spending a bit less on the construction of your home is going to end up costing you a whole lot more in the long run, and chances are you still won’t be happy come the depths of winter each year or the height of summer. Rather than builders demanding the energy efficiency standard be maintained in order to save costs, the people should be demanding better homes which are maybe smaller in order to spend the same money than they otherwise would in a larger 6-star home. After all, it is ‘the people’ whom these homes are being built for, to live in.