A house with energy efficiency ratings graphic

The Victorian Government has unveiled its Renewable Homes Construction Program, designed to provide free training on how to build, design or retrofit homes to make them more energy efficient. 

Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources, Lily D’Ambrosio, launched the program, which is expected to bolster training for the construction industry to design and build energy efficient seven-star-rated and all-electric homes across the state, ensuring Victoria’s workforce has the right skills to build the homes of the future. 

The program will also train builders on the new National Construction Code 2022 (NCC), which came into effect on 1 May 2024, designed to make homes more comfortable, accessible and cheaper to heat and cool while helping Victorians to save more than $4,200 on their energy bills. 

The Home Efficiency Construction Roadshows will be delivered by Solar Victoria in partnership with Master Builders Victoria and the Housing Industry Association at sites across Melbourne and regional Victoria, including Bendigo, Ballarat, Geelong, Shepparton, Echuca, Mildura, Albury, Bright, Mansfield and across Gippsland. 

The roadshows began on 17 June 2024 and are expected to cover topics including passive house principles and solar design, how to avoid condensation and address air tightness, energy efficient appliances and building techniques, and materials required to deliver better energy efficiency. 

Another initiative, Net Zero Homes Skills Training, is now available through online training modules that cover the principles of residential energy efficiency, thermal performance and net zero energy design and construction. 

The final initiative, Efficient Home Design and Construction Training, will address the key issues faced in the design and construction of energy efficient homes and is expected to be delivered in 2024 through short training modules.  

Demand for rooftop solar and heat pump hot water systems is increasing in Victoria – to help meet this demand now and into the future, the government said it is important that more plumbers and electricians can get qualified to undertake this work. 

The Victorian Government is also helping electricians and fourth year apprentices to become accredited designers and installers of solar PV and battery storage systems through the Upskilling for Electricians program.  

The program will provide free training for 400 electricians, saving them approximately $2,000$4,500 on course fees. 

Another round of free training for plumbers and fourth year plumbing apprentices to design and install energy efficient heat pumps and solar hot water systems is expected to become available in 2024. 

Ms D’Ambrosio said, “We’re training our builders, electricians and plumbers so they can build more energy efficient homes – helping Victorians slash their emissions and cut their power bills.” 

Victorian Member for Albert Park, Nina Taylor, said, “All-electric homes are the future in Victoria and we’re making sure our workforce has the right skills for the job.” 

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