Late last month the Victorian Labor Government announced that they plan to work with home builders and land developers in a pilot program to build new homes that have zero net carbon emissions. It is estimated that 2 million homes will be built in Victoria in the next 30 years, so the potential for energy savings is phenomenal.
The $2.18 million program targets growth areas across Melbourne and means that builders are able to offer thermally comfortable homes that are economical to heat and cool. The homes would be constructed with in built solar panels and potentially battery storage. They would also comprise high performance thermal insulation, double glazed windows and highly efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems and appliances.
Zero Net Carbon Homes Pilot Program
Sustainability Victoria will guide builders throughout the scheme and believes that household emissions have the potential to be halved. Householders would then also benefit from significant cuts to their energy bills.
Builders wishing to participate in the the Zero Net Carbon Homes Pilot Program must accomplish at least 200 site starts per year and these must be located in one or more of Melbourne’s growth areas. This includes Melbourne’s north, west, south east and the regional areas of Mitchell and Geelong. The government is working towards its target of zero net emissions by 2050, resulting in a push that goes beyond building energy efficient homes, to making them completely self-sufficient.
The announcement followed a statement from the federal government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation the previous week, revealing that it has dedicated $90 million in debt finance to a plan by Mirvac, a leading Australian property group, to construct over 300 family homes. These homes will be built in Brisbane and Sydney and will include built in solar panels and battery storage. Porter Davis, Glenvill, Stockland, Metricon and other home builders across Australia are already giving their customers the option of solar power and battery storage with their new home, at little or no extra cost.
Building Energy Efficient Homes
In fact, with energy prices on the rise, it appears that this kind of technology may soon become standard practice in the home construction industry. Building design and energy efficient appliances will also become the rule, rather than the exception. Many customers are now telling home builders that they want a home that is highly energy efficient, not only one that is new, big and attractive. Reduced energy bills are particularly appreciated within the first few years for first time home owners, when their budget is often maxed out.
Pricewise Insulation welcomes the state funded scheme and is pleased with the prospect of more people living in comfortable and economical homes that have a positive impact on the environment. They seen first hand over and over again, how well-designed homes with a good wall and ceiling insulation design contribute to thermal comfort and reduced energy bills.
The Victorian government encourages home builders who are interested in participating the state-funded pilot program to find out more or register for an information session at http://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/zeronetcarbonhomes.