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Concerns for mandatory energy ratings

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Mandatory disclosure of residential properties’ energy efficiency could place considerable costs on property owners wishing to sell or lease properties, the Real Estate Institute of Australia has claimed.

Under the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) National Strategy for Energy Efficiency, mandatory disclosure of energy, greenhouse and water performance of residential buildings will be required in the near future at the time of sale or lease.

“Whilst these requirements are aimed at reducing greenhouse emissions and providing savings to households through the reduction of energy consumption, there will be upfront costs which affect housing affordability,” said REIA president David Airey.

“The proposal places considerable costs on home owners wishing to sell or lease their properties,“ he said.

“Market feedback suggests that not only are buyers aware of the characteristics of an energy-efficient dwelling, without requiring a costly report, but that Energy Efficiency Ratings are well below other priority factors when making housing choices.”

Mr Airey said there was also a need to review the accuracy of energy efficiency ratings to ensure a flawed measurement is not introduced to the wider market.

“I urge the federal government to reconsider the requirement for the proposed mandatory disclosure of energy efficiency of existing dwellings for sale or lease, and further, that low cost options be investigated for those who plan to make this information available to potential buyers or tenants,” he said.

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