ACT government will require rentals to be insulated

Consultation opens today, Monday November 8, from the ACT Government on implementing requirements for rental properties to meet a minimum standard for ceiling insulation in Canberra.

ACT Attorney General and Energy Minister Shane Rattenbury said all Canberrans deserved to live in a comfortable, energy-efficient home. However, for many residents, this is not the case, which can have a negative effect on their health and well-being.

Rental properties that are not energy efficient result in higher energy bills and sometimes dangerously cold or hot homes for the people who live in them. Often those with the least ability to pay have no choice but to live in the most expensive properties to heat and cool – it’s unfair, and this new minimum standard will help solve that problem. said Mr. Rattenbury. .

“We now want to involve the community more, especially tenants and rental providers, in shaping the way forward to implement this new insulation standard. We want feedback on a range of different issues, including the timeline for phasing in this new regulation, and how the government can help with the transition and any safety assurances along the way.

He said the government had made it clear that it had wanted to implement a minimum energy efficiency standard in rental properties for a few years now and had continued to consult with stakeholders and the community throughout the process. .

“I encourage everyone to review the proposed standard and provide your feedback over the coming weeks. We expect this standard to come into effect from the middle of next year with a significant implementation period, so that rental providers and the industry have ample time to plan and improve their properties according to the needs,” Mr. Rattenbury said.

“This is the first step in implementing minimum energy performance standards for rental properties, as agreed in 2019 as part of ACT’s climate change strategy. Future steps will consider additional measures to complete the ceiling insulation requirement.

An ACT government spokesperson said they were looking at options to financially support the implementation of the regulations, as they are aware that the regulatory changes will impact different parts of the community.

The Vulnerable Households Energy Support Scheme will support the implementation of energy minimums through targeted financial assistance to rental property owners who provide housing to vulnerable and low-income households.

“The regulations will seek to target only the worst performing properties and there will be a multi-year phase-in period to allow rental landlords who fail to meet the standard to have sufficient time to comply. Many rental properties, especially those built since the late 1990s, will already meet the standard, so there will be no cost to them,” the spokesperson said.

“It is estimated that around 60% of rental properties already comply with the proposed standard. Other properties, such as units on lower floors in apartment complexes or other dwellings where insulation cannot be practicably installed due to physical constraints or very high cost, will be exempt.

The spokesperson said the latest Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) modeling found that tenants would still benefit overall from reduced energy costs, even if rents were increased to cover the cost of building improvements. insulation.

“Analysis found that for every dollar spent on the minimum standard, $1.30 is returned to the community and over a four-year period, this would provide approximately $18 million in benefits to the entire ACT community. “, they said.

Better Renting and Healthy Homes for Renters executive director Joel Dignam said seeing the work begin is really promising and the proposal will make a big difference, but it should only be the start.

“While this is a positive start, it definitely needs to be a foundation. We want to do more, like keep drafts and heat out of windows,” Mr Dignam said.

“People shouldn’t have to choose between heating their homes and avoiding poverty. We want healthy homes to live with healthy temperatures and for people to have a home that won’t leave them shivering all winter long.

Better Renting started reporting in the ACT in 2018, and Mr Dignam said it was great to finally see things happening.

“We plan to bid and engage and support tenants around Canberra so they can be a part of it too,” he said.

“Rental property owners have had their say, and we want to make sure the people who actually live in those properties have a clear voice, too.”

Interested parties can review and provide comments on the government’s plan to yoursayconversations.act.gov.au/minimum-energy-standards

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