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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 1 August 2018) . . Page.. 2568 ..


the benefits to health—both mental and physical—communities, families and the hip pocket, a serious review of the energy efficiency rating scheme in the ACT offers the opportunity to consider reforms that would provide a genuine improvement in the standard of living for our citizens. I strongly encourage everyone to support this motion and I look forward to the ACT government progressing and finalising this review in the coming months.

MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (5.20): The energy efficiency rating scheme is a topic I am really happy to be talking about. Energy efficiency has been a focus of the Greens for decades. The EER scheme itself has been core business for the ACT Greens for a very long time. I am going to talk a bit about the work done by Kerrie Tucker in 1997 later in my speech.

I have been a member of the Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society, which is now called the Smart Energy Council, for around 40 years. Passive solar design and EER are something I am passionate about. The first people who lobbied me when I was elected in 2008 were local architects, and they were talking about the EER disclosure scheme. Those problems still exist. I tried to fix them in the previous Assembly, but I was advised by the planning minister at the time that this attempt would probably backfire and I could find that they were no longer in the sale of premises act. So I am very happy to hear a government MLA moving a supportive motion on an EER scheme, and I am very happy to support the motion on behalf of the ACT Greens.

While we tend to refer to a single EER scheme, there are in fact two basically separate schemes. The first is the little EER number that people see in real estate ads. That is also called the disclosure scheme. The second is the minimum EER standards that all new dwellings have to meet to get building approval.

This means there are lots of differences behind the scheme, which is part of the reason for the problems. For example, the two schemes are quite separate in a technical sense. They use different rating tools. Importantly, X number of stars in one scheme is not the same as X number of stars in the other scheme. That is because the legislation for the mandatory disclosure scheme has not been updated to the latest technologies for energy ratings, as Ms Orr alluded to. The rating score used for disclosure is a cheaper, quicker, simplified process that can be done along with the pest and building inspections in the run-up to a property being listed for sale. The rating process for new builds can be based on detailed plans of the building, which often do not exist at the point of sale for an older house.

I will now talk about the two arms of the scheme. I will start with the disclosure part of the scheme. This is where I would like to take members back to the past, to December 1997, which is when Greens MLA Kerrie Tucker presented two bills on disclosure: the Energy Efficiency Ratings (Sale of Premises) Bill 1997 and the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Bill 1997. These two bills together would have made the disclosure of energy ratings mandatory in all advertisements for sales of residential real estate and also for all rentals.


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