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New NSW rules could cut energy bills by $970: What’s the catch?


Tougher energy efficiency rules for new homes will kick in next year to drive down emissions and tackle rising energy bills.

Under a new policy, new houses, high-rise towers and property renovations valued at more than $50,000 will cop tougher energy standards in New South Wales.

This means that the minimum energy standards for new homes will increase from 5.5 stars to 7 stars.

Large offices will also need to show they're moving towards going all-electric and getting their energy from renewable sources by 2025.

The policy will kick in from October 2023.

What's the impact of these new energy standards?

There are a few key takeaways from the NSW government's new policy:

  • Emissions will be reduced by an estimated 7–11%.
  • This will ensure homes are naturally cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
  • People in high rises in suburban Sydney could save $150 a year on energy bills.
  • Homeowners living in western Sydney could save $720 a year.
  • Those in regional communities could save as much as $970 a year.

We support improved energy efficiency standards as this will ultimately flow through to rentals. For other properties that are now occupied by low-income and disadvantaged households, this will improve their energy affordability and liveability." – Gavin Dufty, St Vincent de Paul Society's policy and research executive manager

Treasurer and minister for energy Matt Kean said in a media release that the new sustainable buildings state environmental planning policy will "drive more energy-efficient homes from Bondi to Broken Hill and beyond, with better design, better insulation and more sunlight".

Minister for planning and minister for homes Anthony Roberts added, "We need to ensure the places we live, work and stay in are more comfortable – all while we save people money on their power bills and contribute to our net zero target."

Is there a catch?

The policy set by the NSW government is fairly straightforward. However, it omitted shopping malls and buildings under 6 storeys for their complexity and high construction costs as energy bill savings wouldn't offset these.

What will be interesting to watch is how property prices will be impacted. There's a possibility that costs will go up in the short term but homeowners will likely recoup the added expense in a few years' time through savings on their energy bills.

There's still time for the new policy to make good. For now, compare and switch energy providers for quicker savings or check out our other quick tips on reducing your bills.

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