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Be aware of property energy efficiency standards

7 Jan 14

Energy efficiency has been on the agenda for many state governments over recent years - and South Australia is no exception.

Under legislation enforced in September 2010, all new homes and extensions constructed in the state need to achieve a six-star energy efficiency rating.

This is something anyone providing real estate advice will need to be aware of, not least because falling foul of these regulations can lead to serious legal action being taken.

The SA government has put forward a number of recommendations to help property owners take the environment into consideration when adding extensions to their homes.

The legislation covers a number of areas, including wall and ceiling insulation and energy creation, so the regulations homeowners have to conform to are far-reaching.

Government officials advise that in order for properties to achieve a six-star level for thermal comfort, they must meet lighting requirements, as well as have energy efficient water heaters in place.

It argues that when included during the design and construction phase, these measures cost less to implement and can bring widespread benefits to owners of the property from the moment they are installed.

The different climate zones that exist within South Australia are taken into consideration when assessing how eco-friendly a property is. For example, conditions in the far north of the state are likely to be massively different to those in the south-east.

A computer-based program is used to assess the efficiency of these properties. This can be completed by anyone with the necessary software and skills - they are usually a building designer, surveyor, builder or architect.

With pressure growing on developed nations to ensure their energy efficiency standards are being met, the real estate sector is just one of those being called upon to make a difference.