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Victoria considers mandatory energy efficiency for rental housing

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Victoria has launched a consultation process to introduce minimum energy efficiency standards as the coldest time of the year begins.

Under review are a number of proposals to help Victorian rental properties be heated and cooled more efficiently and minimise costs to tenants at a time of rising energy prices.

The state is currently proposing to impose the following requirements on rental businesses:

– Fit ceiling mounts, draft seals and watertight seals on all exterior doors.
– When your current hot water and heating system reaches the end of its life, replace it with an energy-efficient appliance.
– Install 4 star shower heads in all showers.
– Install a 3-star cooling system in the main living area.

The state is currently seeking stakeholder input on the plan, which is intended to ultimately reduce costs for renters while keeping them comfortable during the coldest and hottest months of the year.

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) has confirmed it will take part in the process in the hope of balancing energy efficiency improvements without placing further financial burdens on renters.

REIV chairman Jacob Kane said he urged the government to consider the financial capacity of Victorian renters when introducing new requirements.

“We recognize these changes are necessary to achieve the state’s net-zero goal, but the new requirements also come at a time when many renters cannot afford to comply with them, and the cost of maintaining investment properties has risen sharply recently,” Cain said.

“We urge the Government to be mindful that any additional financial burden placed on renters could lead them to sell their homes, putting further strain on an already strained rental property ecosystem.”

The state now plans to phase in the new requirements, with compliance due to begin by October 30, 2025.

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