The property sector doesn’t much like government plans to force householders to disclose their properties’ environmental performance before they are leased or sold.

Under the proposed national mandatory disclosure scheme the Coalition of Australian Governments (COAG) is pushing for energy use, water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions to all be revealed at market time.

Part of this means Australia’s current energy ranking system of zero to five stars will jump to six stars.

The Real Estate Institute of NSW chief executive Tim McKribbin and Australian Institute of Architects chief executive officer David Parken both criticised the scheme in The Australian Financial Review last month (Home owners face green test, 14 February 2009).

Excessive cost burden on householders, they said. Executive director of the Residential Development Council of Australia, Caryn Kakas agreed.

But Association of Building Sustainability Assessors president, Wayne Floyd, held the fort for more disclosure. The industry was using “scare tactics” – the scheme did not force people to upgrade but simply to disclose current household efficiency, he said in the same article.

Interesting to note that consumer real estate sites such as Domain already lists an energy rating category along with its regular property listings of the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and car spaces.

Maybe they know something…