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Residential energy efficiency standards in Australia: where to next?

Abstract

Increasing the energy and carbon efficiency of homes has been at the forefront of international climate change mitigation policy. In Australia, recent policy action led to the introduction of minimum energy efficiency standards for new homes within the Building Code of Australia in 2003, with subsequent stringency increases in 2006 and 2010. Although not yet reflecting international best regulatory practice, these standards represent substantial progress in addressing the energy and carbon emission impact of new homes, yet there are a number of energy policy challenges that highlight the need for further change. This paper documents the history of house energy standards in Australia and examines the post-occupancy evidence of that policy outcome. The paper examines international and domestic issues pointing to a possible future direction for Australian house energy regulation, highlighting the key drivers for change. In particular, we investigate the concepts of net zero carbon and net zero energy homes which have recently been adopted internationally, examining the technical and economic evidence that would support such a policy position in Australia.

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Berry, S., Marker, T. Residential energy efficiency standards in Australia: where to next?. Energy Efficiency 8, 963–974 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12053-015-9336-4

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Keywords

  • House energy regulation
  • Zero carbon homes
  • Energy efficiency
  • Performance-based regulation