Planning Division Fact Sheet 013 Energy efficient homes make sense. Not only do they save homeowners money on heating and cooling bills, they also help to save our environment. All new homes energy to be efficient All new homes built in Blue Sky City, including large ? How is a home’s energy efficiency extensions to existing homes, will need to achieve a measured? high level of energy efficiency. The Blue Sky City Government is committed to improving the energy A home’s energy efficiency can be assessed by efficiency of homes in order to reduce greenhouse gas referring to easy to use tables that will be included in the emissions and minimise peak electricity loads. ode Building C of Australia (BCA) or by using energy rating software. The following information will be needed The new energy efficiency requirements will mean that to assess a home’s energy efficiency: all new homes must be designed and constructed to achieve efficient use of energy for heating and cooling. • location and orientation of the home, • details of elevations, • window sizes and ceiling heights, ? What are the benefits of an energy efficient • materials used for construction, home? • methods used for construction of floors, walls, • roof and insulation, and Energy efficient homes save homeowners money and • details of seasonal shading. also help to save our environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Homes that incorporate sound environmental design principles, like wall and ceiling insulation, northerly orientation (to gain maximum advantage from solar energy) and internal and external shading of windows and walls in summer have the potential to save residents over $2.00 a week in heating and cooling bills alone. A 4 or 5–star rated home is considered energy efficient, while a home rated at 3–stars or less is not considered energy efficient. Rating is best done at the design stage, so that changes can be made if necessary. Homes with these features also produce less greenhouse gas emissions than non–efficient homes This fact sheet provides information about the Blue Sky and provide comfortable conditions throughout the year Government’s energy efficiency initiative for new with less supplementary heating and cooling. homes. Energy efficient options cost very little to implement at It also explains the benefits of energy efficiency, tips for the design and construction stage, yet they offer huge designing an energy efficient home and how to assess long–term benefits both to the homeowner and the your home’s energy efficiency. environment. ? How do I get my home assessed? If major changes occur to the design, the applicant may need to check that the existing development plan Designers, builders or building surveyors will be able to consent is still valid. use the requirements in the BCA to determine whether or not a home meets the minimum energy efficiency ? What should builders and designers tell standards. Alternatively, home energy ratings need to their clients about energy efficiency? be carried out by qualified house energy rating assessors. An assessor can be a designer, builder, Applicants seeking development approval to build a new building surveyor or any other person who is competent home need to be aware that energy efficiency will now in the use of house energy rating software. be a statutory requirement. ? What if my home is not energy efficient? If your home does not meet the minimum energy efficiency requirements, you will need to consider adjusting the design to improve the rating. Homes that are well insulated, built on a concrete slab and appropriately zoned should meet the minimum requirements. ? What do I need to know when purchasing land? Ideally, homes should be sited so that their long axis runs in a direction that maximises the length of north– facing walls and gains maximum advantage from solar energy. There are certain design implications that will need to be considered, such as orientation, shading and insulation. Homes can still be energy efficient despite a less An application for development approval will also need favourable orientation. Adjustments to the design of the to provide documentation that indicates compliance with home, such as additional shading to reduce heat gain in the energy efficiency requirements. summer or measures to reduce heat loss in winter, can help it to comply. Members of the building industry are encouraged to voluntarily adopt the energy efficiency standards into the ? Does the assessment need to be checked? designs of new homes as soon as possible. They can do this by ensuring that any new homes they design or When an application is received to build a new house or build receive a minimum 4-star energy rating. add to an existing house, the relevant approving authority will check that the minimum energy efficiency requirements are met. If the plans comply with the requirements in the BCA, the relevant approving authority will accept that the minimum energy efficiency standards have been met. When using the rating software, an energy rating report should be submitted with the application for building For more information: approval. If the applicant has not provided an energy rating report, the relevant authority may ask for a report contact your local Government of Blue to be provided or they may carry out a detailed energy Sky City office or visit the website. efficiency assessment as part of the assessment process. If the minimum efficiency level is not achieved, the applicant will be asked to review and modify the design.