The Green Building Council of Australia will issue a new standard certification to homes that could reduce their energy consumption by up to 75%.

In the coming year, consumers will have access to the Green Star certification. It is the first mass market residential climate-positive certification.

Builders are encouraged before the launch to attain Green Star Homes Standard certification.

Davina Roooney, CEO of GBCA said that the new standard will enable many Australians to live in more livable, marketable and environmentally-friendly homes.

“We know the energy rating of our fridge, but not of our biggest asset – our home. Ms Rooney said that certification was intended to change this.

“COVID lockdowns have forced many Australians to confront the reality that in many cases their home is uncomfortable, and costly to run.”

These are the requirements for a Green Star-certified home:

  • Healthy: Insulated, ventilated and insulated with minimum toxins from paints and carpets
  • Resilient: Ready for climate change and water efficient
  • Climate positive: Fully Electric. Draught-Sealed. Efficient. Powered By Renewables.

“Green Star certified homes will reduce a household’s energy costs by over 75%, through things like solar panels, better insulation, smarter air conditioning, LED lights and electric appliances,” Ms Rooney said.

“The additional design and build costs for a Green Star certified home are within an affordable range.  In five to seven year, the homeowner will see a return in energy savings. This includes solar power.

Currently, the GBCA is working with the government to bring the Green Star Homes Standard into regulatory compliance.

The Green Star certification will be equivalent to 7 to 7.5 stars under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS). A six-star rating in NatHERS is required for the National Construction Code.

“The IPCC Report is a red alert.  Ms Rooney stated that high-efficiency buildings powered with renewable energy are needed to reduce our critical emissions.

Industry support

Green Star certification is supported and supported by the industry, builders included. Stockland, Metricon and others accepted the standard.

Andrew Whitson is the Stockland CEO/executive director and stated that the group would build its first Green Star Home at its Stockland Waterlea location.

“We’ve seen customer preferences change and accelerate. Remote work is becoming more popular. The home should be prepared accordingly. Is it low in energy? Is it strong and durable? These things will go from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘must have’,” Mr Whitson said.

A recent survey by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation found that around two-thirds would choose energy-efficient homes, if they had the choice.

Insurers also welcomed Green Star certification.

Andrew Hall, CEO of Insurance Council of Australia stated that the company has established a new standard in homes that can withstand natural catastrophes.

He claimed that homes built to this new standard would contribute to a safer Australia.