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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 3 Hansard (18 March) . . Page.. 1190..


Environment—energy efficiency ratings

(Question No 560)

Ms Le Couteur asked the Minister for Planning, upon notice, on 11 February 2010:

(1) Can the Minister list, for all classes of buildings in the ACT, (a) current energy efficiency rating (EER) requirements, if any, (b) EER under the Building Code of Australia (BCA) 2010 and (c) ACT Government plans, if any, to change the EER requirements including timing of change and what the change will be.

(2) When does the ACT Government plan to adopt the BCA 2010; if so, (a) will it adopt all of it, (b) which, if any, parts will not be adopted and (c) will there be any amendments or variations specific to the ACT.

(3) How is the ACT Government notifying the industry of any expected changes.

(4) Did the Government issue a discussion paper dealing with EER in May 2009; if so, when will that progress and why has it not been publicly progressed to date.

Mr Barr: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) (a) The Attorney General administers the Civil Law (Sale of Residential Property) Act 2003 and the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, which require certain residential buildings to have an EER when being offered for sale or lease. It does not require buildings to achieve an EER standard. No building or planning legislation requires an EER. The BCA allows an EER to demonstrate compliance with energy efficiency performance standards. These standards differ for each class of building and are described in Section J of Volume 1 and Section 3.12 in Volume 2 (housing) of the BCA.

(b) The BCA does not require an EER, and is not expected to do so for BCA 2010. BCA 2010 is expected to have increased energy efficiency performance requirements, aimed at correlating with the following EER performance for the building envelope, in addition to other energy efficiency requirements—

for class 1 buildings—not less than 6 star equivalence; and

for class 2 sole occupancy units or class 4 parts of a buildings—collectively an average of not less than 6 star equivalence and individually not less than 5 star equivalence.

BCA requirements generally cannot be verified using an EER for other classes of buildings, as house energy rating software rates only specific residential buildings. However, the BCA has extensive energy efficiency provisions for all classes of buildings except class 10 buildings (non-habitable) that are not attached to buildings or another class. The stringency of these standards in the 2010 BCA has increased from a cost-benefit ratio of 5:1 to just under 2:1.

(c) Reform proposals for expanding requirements for EERs for sale and lease have been published for public comment. Government will consider the most appropriate method for pursuing these reforms.

(2) (a) The Building Act 2004 automatically adopts the latest version of the BCA. The BCA stipulates when each jurisdiction adopts each BCA version. The ACT has asked


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