In August 2022, Building Ministers’ agreed to include new residential energy efficiency provisions in the 2022 edition of the National Construction Code (NCC).

A Decision Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) was prepared to examine the impacts of proposed options to improve the energy efficiency of new residential dwellings, including houses (Class 1 buildings) and apartments (Class 2 sole-occupancy units and Class 4 parts of buildings).

Options the RIS examined included:

  • Maintaining the status quo (which is the required benchmark option in regulatory impact analysis)
  • Option A: A minimum level of thermal performance equivalent to 7 stars NatHERS, plus a whole-of-home annual energy use budget applicable to the home’s space conditioning, hot water, lighting, pool and spa pumps, and on-site renewables (typically rooftop photovoltaics – PV)
  • Option B: Similar to Option A, but with a larger whole-of-home annual energy use budget, which permits lower performing, energy efficient equipment and/or less PV to be installed. Option A’s annual energy use budget is 70 per cent of Option B’s.

The RIS found a combination of these options, i.e. being Option A for Class 1 buildings and Option B for Class 2 buildings, to be the most effective way to meet the objectives by:

  • achieving the highest greenhouse gas abatement at lowest cost to the economy;
  • lowering the cost of household energy bills; and
  • improving occupant comfort and resilience to extreme weather. 

The Decision RIS was assessed as compliant with the Regulatory Impact Analysis Guide for Ministers’ Meetings and National Standard Setting Bodies by the Office of Best Practice Regulation.

The provisions will be available to preview on 1 September 2022, and will be adopted into NCC 2022 on 1 May 2023 with a transition period until 1 October 2023. State and Territory variations may apply to the adoption and transition period.

Final Decision RIS

NCC 2022 Residential Energy Efficiency