14 December 2011 – The Tasmanian Government’s plan to delay six star energy efficiency requirements for new homes in the state until May 2013 has disappointed the Association of Building Sustainability Assessors.

“While we support the state government’s decision to introduce six-star, we believe that this regulation is long overdue and should be put in place sooner than in 18 months time,” ABSA’s chief executive officer Alison Carmichael said.

“We believe that this is an important change that will assist the people of Tasmania to address the continual price rises in electricity, gas and water to ensure that their homes are thermally comfortable. Delaying it by 18 months only delivers more homes that are less sustainable and thermally inefficient.”

ABSA would write to the Tasmanian government to urge them to review and reverse the decision, Ms Carmichael said.

“We know from experience that improving the star rating of a new home will make it thermally efficient, which means that householders won’t need to resort to electricity, gas and water as much to ensure that their home is comfortable. With less ongoing spend on utilities, higher star homes are more affordable in the long term.

“If this is factored into the house plans, it will have little or no cost impact on the total cost of the new home,” Ms Carmichael said.

“Recently claims have been made that increasing the minimum star ratings of new homes from five to six would lead to massive increases in cost. These claims are misleading and not based on facts. If they are factored into the house plans, they will have little or no impact on the total cost of the new home,” she said.