Inefficient air con to be banned

Inefficient air-conditioners will be banned from sale in one Australian state under new home energy efficiency regulations.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh announced that from July 1, all newly-installed air-conditioners will have to meet four-star Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) or be taken off shop shelves.

It is part of a package of measures to ensure that all new houses in the state achieve a minimum five-star rating for energy efficiency from March 1 – increasing the rating from the current 3.5 to four stars.

The rating, which is only halfway to a maximum ten-star rating, will also apply to major renovations where possible.

Ms Bligh said: “If we want to build a greener future for Queensland, the change has to start at home.”

She added: “It means architects and designers will need to give more thought to the orientation of the house, location of rooms, amount of insulation, ventilation, shading such as eves and awnings, and window location and size.

“This will increase the natural comfort of homes and lower energy use by reducing the need for air conditioners and heaters.”

It is hoped that the new regulations will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 85,000 tonnes by 2020.

The measures also include:

  • From March 1, all new houses will have to install more efficient toilets and taps and energy efficient lighting
  • New laws will be introduced to reverse any regulations banning sustainable features such as roof-mounted solar hot water systems
  • From January 1, 2010, a sustainability declaration will have to be completed as part of the sale of a house or unit
  • “There will be further investigations and consultation on other measures such as a star rating for building materials, minimum energy ratings for pool pumps, and higher performance standards for large new homes,” Ms Bligh added.

    Kate Martin

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