31/03/2011 - 00:00

Six-star standard won’t cost customers: builder

31/03/2011 - 00:00

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The count down to new minimum energy efficiency ratings for new homes is on, with 12 months to go until six stars become standard practice in Western Australia.

Six-star standard won’t cost customers: builder

The count down to new minimum energy efficiency ratings for new homes is on, with 12 months to go until six stars become standard practice in Western Australia.

Ratings have been a contentious issue across Australia, with WA the last state to implement the minimum six-star rating, which was introduced to the Building Code of Australia last year.

The Housing Industry Association did not support the new standards, saying they would increase the cost of new homes by $12,000 to $16,000 and the cost would outweigh the environmental benefits.

Summit Homes has already adopted the standards for its homes and disagrees with HIA’s statement regarding cost increases.

Summit said the cost was much lower than HIA’s touted figure, and has committed to absorbing the cost rather than passing it on to clients.

“We have made a commitment to not pass those costs on to our clients and we have reduced our margins so that our prices have not increased,” Summit sales and marketing manager Tim Underwood said.

Summit came to the conclusion the cost of complying with the new standards would not be as high as HIA’s estimate through a review of its supplier base.

The company has been looking to reduce building costs, while also making energy efficient standards a priority.

“Since October last year we have really started a big push in discussing with our suppliers, reviewing our contracts and strategies,” Summit Homes group procurement manager Bruno Osredecki said.

According to Summit, homes built with six-star energy rating can save homeowners 21 per cent in energy costs, and 10-star homes can save up to 96 per cent.

Mr Underwood said the initiative was primarily about getting on the front foot with environmental standards, but it was also smart marketing.

Industry progress in sustainable building is recognised in the GreenSmart awards.

Last year, boutique Perth builder Right Homes was awarded the Project Home of the Year for its nine-star energy efficient and carbon neutral home.

The company was founded in 2006 and works to demonstrate that energy efficiency and high star ratings can be affordable.

Meanwhile, Labor’s sustainable living spokesperson, Chris Tallentire, this week highlighted the need for a renewed focus from the state government on the matter.

“The Barnett government has been extremely lacklustre in promoting the new system. I’m concerned consumers are unaware they can already request their home be six-star rated,” he said.

“Investing in a six-star home ensures the house is positioned correctly on the block and their solar passive designs ensure houses stay naturally cool in summer and warm in winter.”

Mr Tallentire said there had been misinformation about the cost of building a six-star home and that meeting the new standards could add as little as $500 to the cost of a home.

 

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