Page 3307 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 19 October 2022

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new homes. That is, really, where we look at the idea of the seven stars under the nation-wide house energy rating system. There is also the concept of a new whole-of-home annual energy use budget that needs to be met for new homes. This budget applies to the energy use of a home’s heating and cooling equipment, things such as hot water systems, lighting, swimming pools and spa pumps.

What this change means is that there will actually be a change that is really beneficial, both for people and the planet. This will, in the longer term, save people significant money, as the thermal performance of their home is much more efficient, as well as seeing significant outcomes for the planet as well. It particularly works in well with some of the work that the ACT is doing, particularly around electrifying the city.

What we find is that people are really keen to make their buildings more sustainable and do not know where to start. This change means that there will be a standard set and it will be much easier for people to get much better performance of their properties. So it is a very exciting move.

MR DAVIS: Minister, what needs to happen to our homes, established and new, over the longer term to make them resilient to our changing climate?

MS VASSAROTTI: Thanks, Mr Davis, for the supplementary question. There is a significant task that we have ahead of us, in terms of ensuring that our homes are climate-wise and more climate resilient. There has been a lot that has been done through mechanisms such as the building ministers, in terms of what we can do to future-proof our buildings to ensure that they are more resilient. What we are really seeing, particularly in climates such as ours, is that we used to think a lot about heating and how we kept our buildings warm in the winter times, but summer is becoming much more an issue, particularly around extreme heat, and we saw, with the terrible bushfires a couple of years ago, the issues of smoke.

So we need to build our homes differently, and that is exactly what this change to the national Building Code is about. We also have to support people to look at how they renovate their homes and make sure that the buildings that are already built become more climate resilient. This is an issue that we all need to look at, in terms of our own homes. Governments need to look at, in terms of regulatory changes, how we support industry to move towards these changes, and how we really support people at the lower end of the income stream around adjusting emissions. Quite a few of the programs that the ACT government has been working on, in terms of the vulnerable household scheme, the Sustainable Household Scheme, are looking at really supporting that transition.

MR COCKS: Minister, why is the ACT still using an outdated approach to modelling energy efficiency for existing homes rather than the NatHERS system?

MS VASSAROTTI: Thanks, Mr Cocks, for the question. It is actually a really good question. We do have an issue in terms of the system that we use for existing homes. It is using a system that sits separately to the NatHERS process. This is something that we need to review and work has commenced around look at how we bring those two systems together.

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