New Queensland building standards are helping homeowners save on power

By Jarrod
4 Min Read

New laws for Queensland building standards are promising to help future homeowners slash growing power bills and boost overall property value. 

To balance the growing needs of homeowners and industry, the Palaszczuk Government has agreed to phase in the National Construction Code from October 1st, 2023, through to May 1st, 2025.

From October 1st, builders across the state were introduced to a host of new accessibility standards that significantly reduce or even avoid the cost of retrofitting when the mobility of homeowners changes.

These new standards include at least one step-free entry, step-free bathroom access, toilets accessible on ground level and other accessible requirements for all new builds. 

Starting May next year, new homes in Queensland will also be required to meet new 7-star energy efficiency standards that make homes warmer in winter, cooler in summer and reduce energy bills by about $185 a year.

Minister for Energy and Public Works Mick de Brenni said Queensland is “well placed” to meet the new energy efficiency requirements, with the average home already reaching a 6.5-star energy rating. 

“With the availability of a 1-star credit for outdoor living areas, most builders won’t have any problems meeting the new requirements, and with the timeframe for compliance of energy efficiency requirements now May 1st, 2024, we are allowing additional time to train in the new tools,” he said. 

“We know over a third of Queensland homes already have rooftop solar to minimise their household energy consumption and save on energy bills, and Queensland has a natural advantage for solar energy, with new homeowners able to benefit from choosing rooftop solar with these building requirements.

“We expect even more savings for Queensland households, with an estimated $185 off electricity bills each year, thanks to energy efficient measures put in place as part of the NCC.”

Across the state, the new Modern Home standards are expected to deliver a net benefit of over $500 million and reduce carbon emissions from new homes by 1.64 million tonnes.

The Australian Building Codes Board predicts the standards will add just 1-2 per cent to the cost of building new homes, with costs reducing over time as the industry adjusts. 

Households could earn back this cost over the lifetime of a home through savings on energy bills, while research by CSIRO claims 7-star energy efficiency will increase a home’s sale price by almost 10%.

Australian Building Codes Board CEO Gary Rake says these new standards are long overdue. 

“It’s been over ten years since the last residential energy-efficiency update to the National Construction Code in 2010. And it’s been over ten years since the industry voluntarily promised to introduce accessibility standards with new homes,” he said. 

“The homes we’re building now are supposed to be good for 50 years – we need to think about the requirements of the next two and three generations.

“Every month we delay locks people into outcomes that are below the standard they should be.”

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By Jarrod
Jarrod Brown combines his background in journalism, copywriting and digital marketing with a lifelong passion for storytelling. He has a strong passion for new and emerging consumer technology within the building sector. He lives on the Sunshine Coast - usually found glued to the deck of a surfboard.