Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 November 2007) . . Page.. 3589 ..

two-degree tipping point and that we must act immediately if we are to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.

In that context, this is a very small but nevertheless important step as part of a conscientious effort to ensure that all our homes, both privately owned and rented, are as energy efficient as we can make them. The Energy Efficiency Ratings (Sale of Premises) Act 1997 created the mandated EER disclosure scheme for sales in the ACT. This is unique in Australia and I understand that Denmark is the only other international jurisdiction, with the EU to introduce it in the next few years. All the available evidence seems to suggest that the scheme has been very successful indeed.

The Australian Greenhouse Office will soon, I understand in the next fortnight or so, be releasing a paper titled A study of the impact of mandatory energy performance disclosure requirements for class 1 buildings in the ACT. This mouthful of a title does, we believe, present evidence that suggests it will be a very interesting and promising study, not only to people in the ACT but to those in the rest of Australia as well.

Energy Partners, a local Canberra based firm specialising in energy-efficient building design and house energy ratings, has been very involved in Canberra’s household energy efficiency pursuits. Indeed, it is one of their reports that prompted this bill. Energy Partners has found that an improvement in the household EER also leads to an improvement in the sale price. Clearly, the community wants to know and the market responds to EER statements.

In 1999, the Assembly passed amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act requiring rental homes to also disclose an EER, if they had one, but it did not require them to go out and get one, as is the case for sales. In effect, disclosure of energy efficiency ratings for rental properties is optional. This bill intends to rectify this anomaly and hopefully to emulate the success experienced in the sales domain in the rental market.

As well as raising community awareness, and particularly the rental community’s awareness, these changes will, I hope, encourage landlords to improve their properties and implement measures to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Essentially, all that these changes do is to ensure that the current system is complied with. The current regime is simply ignored by most landlords. Because it is optional, they choose to ignore it. These shortcomings are clearly shown in a report written by Mr Trevor Lee and Ms Jessica McMahon from the firm Energy Partners. I seek leave to table this report.

Leave granted.

DR FOSKEY: I table the following report:

EER Disclosure Non-Compliance in the ACT Rental Market, prepared by Energy Partners.

This very comprehensive report highlights that, over the last eight years, on average, only slightly more than one in 10 rental advertisements contained an energy efficiency rating for the dwelling. This is in spite of the fact that it is now estimated that

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . .