A recent report reveals that Australian homes can potentially save up to $2002 annually on energy bills through thermal upgrades, full electrification of appliances, and the adoption of rooftop solar.
The report, titled “Climate-ready homes: Building the case for a renovation wave in Australia,” released by Climateworks Centre, advocates for upgrading homes constructed before 2003 with enhanced insulation and electrification of appliances and heating.
The report emphasises that improving the energy performance of Australian homes will not only reduce the cost of living but also contribute to emissions reduction and improved health, protecting against extreme weather, poor air quality, and energy poverty.
Australia, globally recognised for its leadership in rooftop solar, has an opportunity to further support household upgrades for a ‘climate-ready’ future. With ‘quick-fix’ and “climate-ready” thermal upgrades plus full electrification of appliances, households could save an average of between $1690 and $2002 each year, respectively.
Homeowners investing in ‘quick-fix’ and ‘modest’ thermal upgrades, full electrification of appliances, and rooftop solar could see average annual net savings between $909 and $1578 from the first year, according to the report.
Anna Skarbek, CEO of Climateworks Centre, called for urgent action from governments and the private sector to initiate an energy performance renovation wave in Australia.
“As households battle rising costs of living, supporting home upgrades can help reduce energy bills and prepare homes for more frequent extreme temperatures, while reducing the emissions that contribute to climate change,” Skarbek said.
The report’s recommendations included financial support for insulation, ventilation, and energy-efficient electric appliances; transitioning existing homes from gas; a national framework for minimum energy efficiency standards in new homes; mandatory disclosure of home energy efficiency ratings; voluntary standards for zero carbon homes by 2025; and education for a skilled workforce to implement energy performance upgrades.
Dr. Gill Armstrong, co-author and Program Impact Manager at Climateworks Centre, highlighted that homes contribute over 10 per cent of Australia’s total carbon emissions, with many built before the introduction of minimum energy performance requirements.
“Upgrading the energy performance of existing homes is a win-win-win-win for households, energy networks, industry, and climate,” Armstrong said.