The New South Wales State Environmental Planning Policy (Sustainable Buildings) 2022 (SEPP) has now come into effect, aiming to deliver equitable and effective water use and greenhouse gas reductions across NSW.
NSW was the first state to implement agreed updates in the National Construction Code 2022 (NCC) via introduction of the Sustainable Buildings SEPP and updates to the Building Sustainability Index (BASIX).
NCC 2022 was agreed and adopted by all jurisdictions in 2022.
However, each state and territory has set its own implementation timeline for introduction of the new standards to reflect local industry and supply chain capacity.
The new standard cuts thermal energy use by at least 20 per cent and will save homeowners on power bills.
The changes can save considerable amounts of energy helping to make new homes more comfortable, particularly in the hotter areas of the State during summer.
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully said new homes built from 1 October onwards could save an average of almost $17,000 in energy bills over the lifetime of a standard 25-year home loan.
“Builders can use a wide range of options to meet the new standards – they can install more insulation, improve the performance and location of windows, select a more energy-efficient hot water system and install 3-star reverse cycle air-conditioning systems.
“Energy sustainability and modern construction improvements have come a long way over the last 15 years and it’s time we set new industry standards to help NSW achieve its target of reaching net zero target by 2050.
“The new BASIX standard is the very least we can do to produce modern houses equipped to withstand heat and cold.
“In a national first, the SEPP also introduces new sustainability measures, including new energy and water standards, for non-residential development like offices, libraries and schools, which will be responsible for 85% of all non-residential emissions by 2050,” said Scully.
While the Sustainable Building SEPP has commenced, the NSW government has allowed a nine-month transition period to reduce potential financial impacts of complying with the increased standards for home buyers and builders.
Homebuyers with a signed building contract for a house or duplex before 1 October 2023 can apply to use the existing BASIX standard and generate BASIX certificates up until 30 June 2024.