Purpose of project
Houses built since early 2000 have been required to have a NatHERS energy efficiency star rating of 5 or higher. While the average NatHERS star rating of Australian homes built before this time is only 1.7 stars – which means at different times of the year they will be too cold or too hot to be comfortable and sometimes even be unhealthy to live in and/or cost between 400% more (Brisbane) and 600% more (Melbourne) to heat or cool compared to a 6 star home.
With the challenges of climate change and increasing energy costs, Australia needs to quickly get to a point were making every existing home energy efficient is both possible and affordable. There have been energy efficiency programs in Australia for decades aiming to achieve this, but to date, progress has been limited for many reasons.
This project aims to clearly identify the barriers that currently prevent every Australian house from being made energy efficient. This will be done through a series of collaborative, structured, community focussed, renovation programs across the different climate zones of Australia.
The 2023 Federal budget announced that $1b will be allocated toward low interest loans making homes more efficient and a further $300m to improve the energy efficiency of social and community housing for renters.
The RACE for 2030 Energy Upgrades for Australian Homes (EUAH) three-year project has the ambitious goal of identifying solutions to remove these barriers and to empower communities across Australia to significantly improve their energy efficiency. The program targets improvements in over 1 million homes by 2030, which will pave the way for the remaining 7 million existing low efficiency homes to do the same reducing energy costs to households and significantly cutting carbon emissions.
This will be achieved by focussing on:
- Policy and finance mechanisms.
- Information and education initiatives leading to greater understanding and community transition, driving place-based upgrade programs.
- Building stock and climate zone data to enable upgrades to be targeted appropriately.
- Supply chain efficiencies, quality checks of products and installations and gap analysis and policy suggestions for training of tomorrow’s energy efficiency workforce
The project will deliver 6 pilots across the country and develop a series of tools to support communities to undertake renovations to suit their needs and climate. Ultimately resulting in lower emissions and costs while providing more comfortable and healthier homes.
Impact of project
This project will bring together all the aspects of a household’s energy upgrade pathway in one place. It will lead the way for the national average energy efficiency rating of existing homes (built before star ratings came into force for new builds in 2008) to move from 1.7 stars to 3–5 stars, reducing electricity needs by 6-8 kWh per day per household. This will give an average cost saving of $400-$600 per year per household, with some homes saving over $1,000 per year. This could lead to a total saving nationwide of $500m by 2030 with a reduction of 2 MtCO2e in carbon emissions.
Project partners – Research
Project partners – Industry
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