Today the ACT Government has published a RIS and a Consultation Paper on Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards for rental properties. The government considered a few approaches to specifying minimum standards, and the paper proposes an insulation standard such that rental homes with less than R2 ceiling insulation are required to install or upgrade to a minimum of R5.
This is an issue that Better Renting has worked on in the ACT since 2018, publishing multiple reports looking at the breakdown of this issue, the costs, and the health issues in summer and winter.
Comments on the latest development are below, which can be attributed to Joel Dignam, Executive Director.
"This proposed standard will save lives. A cold home is a threat to your health, dangerous like an electrical fault or a defective balcony. This standard will address that risk, helping to make sure people can be safer in their homes from the danger of low indoor temperatures. It's sensible place to start."
"However, it's important that this standard is supported by complementary measures. Insulation can stop heat going out through your ceiling, but that doesn't help much if it's going out through windows or through cracks and draughts. Sealing up draughts and stopping heat loss through windows will be important too."
"It's disappointing to see that this standard doesn't include energy efficient heating and cooling appliances. An electric reverse-cycle system reduces health risk from heatwaves and means it's easier to keep a healthy home in Winter. Even if the phase-in date isn't for a few years, efficient conditioning appliances should be part of the standard from the get-go."