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The Australian Capital Territory Government has introduced a new regulation to make rental homes more energy efficient through meeting a minimum standard for ceiling insulation, implemented by Energy Efficiency Council Certified Insulation Installers.

Mr Rattenbury said as part of the Australian Capital Territory Government’s work to implement the standard, it will also invest in energy efficiency improvements for existing Housing Australian Capital Territory properties. 

“This new regulation will help to create a more equitable Canberra community so that no one is left behind as we work towards 2045 zero emissions targets,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“The ACT Government is supporting rental providers in helping their homes meet the new standard. Under the Sustainable Household Scheme, eligible property owners can access zero interest loans of up to $15,000 to make necessary insulation upgrades.”

Under the standards, insulation upgrades to rental properties will need to be carried out by an Energy Efficiency Council Certified Insulation Installer. The Energy Efficiency Council (EEC) has partnered with the ACT Government to ensure that installers will have suitable training and experience before installing insulation, including asbestos awareness training.

Mr Rattenbury said the Australian Capital Territory Government has consulted extensively with the insulation industry to ensure industry readiness. 

“In addition to including a four year phase-in period, we are currently working with the Master Builders Association and Canberra Institute of Technology to provide training for insulation providers. This means that we are building capacity within the industry while simultaneously avoiding a significant demand spike for insulation materials and installers,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“Whether you currently live in a rental property, or you own one, I encourage you to learn more about the new regulation and what rights or obligations you may have under the new standard.”

The regulations

The regulation commences on 1 April 2023, with a phase-in period extending to 30 November 2026. Between 1 April 2023 and 30 November 2026, rental providers will have nine months from when a new lease is signed for the property to comply with the standard.

From 1 April 2023, it will also be mandatory for rental providers to include details on whether or not their property is compliant with the minimum standard in all rental advertisements and in new residential tenancy agreements.

The regulation requires rental homes with no ceiling insulation or existing insulation rated less than R2 to have insulation installed or upgraded to R5 level insulation. Rental homes with ceiling insulation currently rated at R2 or above will not need to be upgraded. 

Australian Capital Territory Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction, Shane Rattenbury, said the new regulation, which comes into effect 1 April 2023, will improve living conditions for Canberra renters and help them save money on energy bills.

“Roughly 30 per cent of households in the ACT are renting and this new regulation will give renters in the ACT assurance that their homes are well insulated and more affordable to heat in winter and cool in summer,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“Up to 35 per cent of heat is lost through the ceiling during colder months in an uninsulated house. This results in higher energy bills and makes homes uncomfortable to live in. A home’s level of thermal comfort has a direct impact on the health and wellbeing of those living there.”

The Energy Efficiency Council

The EEC congratulated the Australian Capital Territory Government on the launch of its new regulation for ceiling insulation in rental properties.

EEC CEO, Luke Menzel, said, “Insulating a home is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce energy usage. For Canberra homes, insulation can deliver over $8,000 in net benefits over the lifetime of the insulation.”

“With cost-of-living pressures front of mind for all Australians, this support for renters is particularly welcomed,” Mr Menzel said.

The EEC commends the leadership of the Australian Capital Territory Government and Mr Rattenbury in working to deliver a package of initiatives to roll out ceiling insulation – a key energy efficiency technology – to as many households as possible in the Territory.

“It’s now time for other state and territory governments to get on board, and make sure renters have access to safe, healthy housing. The EEC wants to see these initiatives implemented right around the country, to bring the energy performance of our housing stock up to a minimum acceptable level for all Australians,” Mr Menzel said.

“By using an EEC Certified Insulation Installer, renters and landlords can have confidence in the quality and safety of the insulation upgrade. We are pleased this is a requirement of the standard.”

A growing number of studies show that energy efficient homes promote improved social, physical, and mental health outcomes. In Victoria, a recent study found modest energy efficiency upgrades to the homes of elderly study participants led to reduced health spending by almost $900 per person over the winter period.

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1 Comment
  1. Clive Blanchard 1 year ago

    Congratulations to the ACT government for this initiative. I hope this is used as a model by the states and other territories as it is well known that split incentives mean that rental properties are generally the worst performing homes with the occupants least able to afford to keep themselves warm and cool. In fact they are often forced to use electric fan heaters which are the least efficient heating.

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