Monday, June 24, 2024

Energy efficiency ruling to make ACT home to cheaper rentals

The ACT Government will introduce a new minimum energy efficiency standard for ACT rental properties from April 2023, with a phase in period to November 2026. 

The new regulation will require rental homes with no ceiling insulation or existing insulation rated less than R2 to have insulation installed or upgraded to R5, the level typically used in new builds.  

Rental homes with ceiling insulation currently rated at R2 or above will not need upgrades as they already meet the requirements. 

ACT Chief Minister, Andrew Barr said putting minimum energy efficiency standards in place for rental properties will improve the wellbeing of Canberra renters as well as help reduce their cost of living. 

“We know that upgrades like these can be costly which is why we have programs such as the Sustainable Household Scheme in place to help reduce those costs,” Mr Barr said.  

“Landlords needing to upgrade their rental properties will be able to access a zero-interest loan for insulation from early 2023 under the Scheme. 

“Getting landlords on board is another big step towards ensuring all Canberrans benefit from a zero emissions future for the ACT.” 

Over 60% of rental homes are already compliant with the proposed standard and this will ensure that the remainder of the homes meet this requirement, including both private rentals and public housing properties. 

During the phase in period, rental providers will be required to meet the standard within nine months of a new lease being signed for the property. From 1 December 2026, properties will need to comply, or be in the process of complying, regardless of whether a new lease has been signed, and new properties entering the rental market will have three months to comply with the standard. 

From 1 April 2023 it will also be mandatory for rental providers to include details on whether their property is compliant with the minimum standard in all rental advertisements and in new residential tenancy agreements. 

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Shane Rattenbury said everyone deserves a comfortable, safe, and healthy home. 

“It’s unfair that those with the least capacity to pay often live in properties that are the most expensive to heat and cool,” the minister said.  

“Up to 35% of heat is lost through the ceiling over the colder months in an uninsulated Canberra house. 

“In addition to meeting the standard in public housing properties, the ACT Government will invest in public housing energy efficiency improvements. This will include replacing gas appliances (such as hot water and heating and cooling systems) with energy efficient electric alternatives that are cheaper to run and support the ACT’s transition away from gas by 2045. 

“Insulation is the most effective and efficient way to quickly improve energy efficiency in rental properties. The Government will continue to examine other energy efficiency measures that could be implemented in future years,” he said.

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