There are a large number of economic solar PV options available to the average Australian home owner. Considering this, it is not surprising that the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) report on the “building code energy performance” validates the financial attractiveness of solar PV in households. In addition, this ASBEC report proposes the necessity to switch to a mandatory solar PV requirement in new constructions to enable the country to move towards zero emissions target. Released by ASBEC and Climate Works Australia (CWA), the report does not take potential grid integration issues into consideration.
Published in Feb 2018, this is a report on the building code energy performance trajectory project. This interim report precedes the final one on the Australian building code regulations due to be released in 2019. It discusses on the measures that could be adopted to reduce residential power consumption bills – an estimated savings of $16 billion may be achieved like this. The report also highlights the various economic residential constructions in the nation which provide a high ROI through daily energy savings. Furthermore, the emphasis on the building design to adopt energy efficient principles is brought out in the report; achievable through star ratings like NatHERS. This is because rooftop PV systems have a lifespan lower than that of the building. Hence, “building fabric” is as important as on-site generation and home appliances.
“Cost of Delay”
The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) will be revising the national construction code in 2019. The report adds that further delays in this updating can lead to higher energy costs for the nation’s households. This can affect the low to middle income groups. The next slot for updating these codes will only come in 2022. This might be late considering the fact that around 58% of the buildings existing in 2050 will be built after 2019. Hence, proper changes to the code at this stage can help in improving the comfort and affordability in low-income households while facilitating economic emissions reductions throughout the country.