So, you’ve bought a house and land package, and it is now time to start preparations, but you still have to work out the odds and ends of running a home and being energy compliant. When factoring the costs of building, and then living, in a home of your own, there are many things to think about that people don’t often consider. Our team at SOMO have all of the information you need to develop your lifestyle plan, so let us help.
We hear you asking, what is energy compliance and what does that mean for me?
Let’s break it all down.
Who is the BCA?
The Building Code of Australia (BCA) outlines the energy efficiency requirements for all building classifications across Australia in volumes one and two of their codes. This was a strategy by all levels of Government to reduce the rate of greenhouse gas emissions nationally.
The National Construction Code (NCC) is an initiative designed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) intended to help incorporate on-site construction requirements into a single code for the future change in energy compliance.
Why the change?
In recent years, the Construction Code made changes in relation to reducing greenhouse gas emissions that will affect both residential and commercial buildings and with climate change being an increasingly prevalent issue in the world, recognised the need for a change and amended the energy compliance regulations.
So last year, the National Energy Productivity Plan was revised by COAG to help reduce the national rate of greenhouse gas emissions. The intention is to improve energy productivity in Australia – with the goal of 40 per cent by 2030. The aim is to see more energy-efficient and comfortable buildings while simultaneously making compliance options more straightforward. Buildings account for more than 20 per cent of energy-related GHG emissions, so businesses recognised the need for more energy efficiency in this area to reduce the rate.
So what is ‘energy’ and what does it mean to be energy efficient?
‘Energy’ is the way we power our home – electricity, gas, oil, and fuels used for heating, cooling and ventilation. The NCC requirements do not apply to appliances like refrigerators, office equipment, etc.
To become energy-efficient means to reduce our use of energy while maintaining our quality of life. This requires reducing the amount of energy we use on things, such as heating and cooling mechanisms, at the same time as maintaining the adequate standard for other appliances in our home.
How can I be energy compliant?
There are a few things to consider when building your first home to make sure you are energy compliant and doing your bit to be sustainable. The NCC has energy efficiency requirements set for residential and commercial developments and some things to think about when planning are:
- The use of artificial lighting and power
- Heated water supply
- The heating and pumping of pools
- The use of particular building fabrics
- The sealing of the building
By building your house to be more energy efficient, you are setting yourself up to be more environmentally conscious, and in today’s environment, is something we should all be striving for. The NCC requirements can also benefit you financially in the long term, as running costs can be reduced significantly just by selecting certain building materials for your home – helping you stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer!
In short, by making smart choices when building your home now can help set you up for lower costs in the future, something you should think about when selecting your heating and cooling equipment.
So what next?
When developing your home to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, your new dwelling (including the equipment in it) must be capable of using energy efficiently. Remember that the services must be receiving energy from either a low greenhouse gas intensity source, the on-site renewable energy source (sunlight, wind or tides), or through another approved process.
It is important to research and investigate so you have a good understanding of the factors that will affect buying and developing your first home. Contact our team so we can chat further about how energy compliance will affect your new home development. We’ll give you all of our advice and lay down the facts so you can get started. Give us a call at (08) 9202 9292 and let’s take the next step towards your new home.