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I am disappointed to learn of further delays in the introduction of 7 star homes to South Australia announced on 24/3/2023. While it is good to have a confirmed date for the implementation of the National Construction Code (NCC 2022) requirements, it is disheartening to hear that we will have to wait until 1 October 2024 before these standards become mandatory. This means that an additional 12,000 South Australian homes will be constructed without the cost-effective improvements that 7 star homes offer, making it difficult to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions in these homes.
The building industry has argued that they cannot afford to make the necessary changes at this time, but I believe that these claims are unfounded. The cost increase is less than 1% for a conventional home, and the energy cost savings gained from the changes are greater than the extra cost of the loan. Furthermore, these supply chain disruptions and cost increases are temporary and are expected to dissipate by October 2023, when most other states will begin implementing the changes.
While some argue that the industry is not ready for the changes, the fact remains that the deadline was originally set for 1st September 2022, and even those states that are sticking to the agreed timelines will have had 13 months to prepare (longer if you take into account that it was widely disseminated early 2022 that 7 star homes were going to be a requirement). Much of the building industry has spent more time delaying the introduction of these requirements than working on how to implement them. I believe that they will not start seriously addressing the changes needed until a few months before the deadline (for some probably after the deadline), regardless of when it is set.
I believe that there is a significant portion of the public who are prepared to build 7 star homes now, given the concerns about rising energy costs. This is an opportunity for progressive builders to get ahead of the curve and start designing and marketing 7 star homes now.
Improving home energy efficiency is crucial, as most Australians use more energy for heating than cooling. The peak load in summer may only be for a few hours each day, but in winter, the heating demand is constant and generally consumes more energy. As there is less solar available in winter, unless we can reduce winter energy costs, electricity costs will be driven by winter demand and remain high. Therefore, it is imperative that we act quickly to improve home energy efficiency.
To find out how to cost effectively achieve a 7 star energy rating go to Architect and Builder Services.