In Australia today, there are 8 million homes that use 13% of the total energy usage of the country and are responsible for emitting 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions. There has been a trend to build bigger houses, and therefore these figures will continue to rise. It has been predicted that private home energy use will grow by 55 percent in the 30 years from 1990 to 2020.
The Australian government has decided to introduce a price on carbon for the major polluting companies. Half of this amount will be given to homeowners through its Clean Energy Future Plan in the form of tax cuts and pension increases to help with the rising living costs. It is also working with home owners in an effort to lower their household pollution contribution by making savings in their energy usage. This is to be achieved through a mix of regulation, financial support, incentives, information and support. As a result there are planned changes to be made in the way new homes are built and older homes are renovated. A building’s energy performance is to be rated and changes are expected to be made in the way people generally use energy especially in the area of energy efficiency with regards to household appliances.
To meet the 2020 carbon reduction targets, the government is placing energy efficiency regulations on new homes being built. From 2012, all homes will be given an energy efficiency rating.
The reasoning behind adopting the energy efficiency star rating is that consumers will have a benchmark to enable them to make an informed decision on the energy requirement of the home they are thinking about buying or renting. If the home isn’t built to certain specifications it would be fair to assume that the home will have higher power costs and a lower market value, than one that is built to comply. All homeowners and future home builders on the Far South Coast need to be aware of this, and should read http://www.climatechange.gov.au/what-you-need-to-know/buildings/homes/nationwide-home-energy-rating-scheme.aspx