Sep 2023

When to use the NCC 2022 energy-efficiency provisions

There are major changes in energy efficiency requirements with the NCC 2022 – discover where these will apply and what we expect as the deadline for implementation approaches.

Cover image of the NCC 2022 energy efficiency provosions

We’re only a few short weeks away from the much-anticipated revised 1st of October implementation deadline of the energy efficiency provisions for the National Construction Code 2022 (NCC 2022)!

Read on for a summary of when each state is implementing the NCC 2022 energy efficiency provisions, or jump to our overview of what the energy efficiency provisions look like in practice

Where are the NCC 2022 updates up to?

Updated energy efficiency software has not yet been released. No-one knows exactly what the new requirements will look like in practice yet, or the ins and outs of the software changes.

Our insight: The Powerhaus team have been involved in updating the Australian Government’s free ‘Your Home’ plans, helping to bring all designs into compliance with NCC 2022. These plans are for every major climate zone in Australia, and rate between 7-8 stars. Updating these provided us with insight into the complexity of the new provisions. There are changes to the heating and cooling requirements of the star bands, as well as climate data.

We noticed under the new requirements (due to changes in the heating and cooling star bands) that a new 7-star rating is roughly equivalent to 6.8 stars under the previous system. This means 7 stars under NCC 2022 is slightly easier to achieve than it appears.

Interestingly, Sydney is now considered a predominantly heating climate, rather than cooling. This was previously something of great concern for our team, having both lived there, and working with many homes in the region.

 Only NSW is implementing NCC 2022 by 1 October 2023

At this stage all other states have long transition periods or haven’t yet committed to implementation.

Find a current guide for your region below:

ACT

Our insight: In February this year the Powerhaus team was consulted by the ACT Government regarding the adoption of NCC 2022 for existing homes. Our primary concern was that the current 6-star minimum is already very challenging for existing homes undergoing retrofits or renovations to comply with. We anticipated that further minimum star increases could lead to existing homes being left as is or knocked down (wasting both materials and embodied carbon!) We’re delighted to report that the ACT Government agrees and has decided not to change the goal posts for existing homes, which will be a relief to many of you reading this.

NSW

  • Enhanced BASIX from the 1st of October 2023 will increase the minimum star rating from an average of 5.5-6 stars to 7 stars. This will have a major impact, particularly in the colder climates of southern NSW. We strongly recommend that designers, builders and homeowners start working with an energy efficiency professional early in the design stage, as this will be a big adjustment in performance requirements. 
  • Homeowners who sign a building contract for a new house or duplex before 1 October 2023 can apply to use the current BASIX standards for their new home. This additional transition period will end on 30 June 2024. 
  • The NSW Government have stated they will provide additional training and technical resources to assist industry assessors and other users and stakeholders to understand and apply the changes in the SEPP. 

QLD

Our insight: Higher star ratings are relatively easy to achieve in warmer climates, so this is great to see.

VIC

  • As with Queensland, implementation of NCC 2022 has been delayed until 1 May 2024. 

TAS 

Our insight: This is understandable as in a predominantly heating climate the increase to 7 stars becomes more challenging. Tasmania also has a high percentage of renewable energy with hydro and wind.

WA 

  • WA has an 18 month transition plan, with implementation in 1 May 2025. 

SA

  • South Australia will implement the changes on 1 October 2024.

From our Director

Given the fact the updated software and completed accreditation isn’t currently available, I suspect enforcing 7-stars from the 1st of October will be extremely challenging. It’s important to be ready, but we expect there will be some sort of transitional period rather than a hard line. However, at this stage nothing has been publicly released. We’ll update our resources and keep our clients informed with the latest news as the implementation progresses.

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