8 November 2010
Wait and see if home energy rating delivers
The industry-led HomeStar voluntary rating scheme is a good start, but will miss out the coldest and dampest homes because it is not mandatory, said the Green Party today.
The HomeStar residential rating scheme launched today is a tool to improve the energy efficiency and performance of homes. It was the product of collaboration BRANZ, Beacon Pathway and the New Zealand Green Building Council.
Green Party Housing spokesperson Gareth Hughes said: “It is not yet clear if HomeStar will result in warmer and healthier homes, but we support the principle of a single easy-to-use rating scheme that would encourage homeowners and landlords to improve the efficiency of their properties.
“We will watch with interest the roll out of HomeStar,” said Mr Hughes.
“A single rating system makes sense, if it is robust enough to measure energy efficiency differences between houses.
“Unfortunately, a voluntary scheme such as HomeStar is more likely to attract those homeowners who already have efficient homes, and thereby miss out the homes that are most in need of improvement,” said Mr Hughes.
“We have a housing crisis in this country, with over 1 million substandard homes, which has huge economic and social costs.
“It’s a wasted opportunity that the Government has not put more resources into investigating a robust mandatory scheme, which would be far more effective at giving consumers the valuable information they want and need when buying or renting a home.”
Mandatory assessment in energy efficiency home rating schemes is already being rolled out in many Australian states and in Europe.
“My Warm Healthy Rentals Members Bill would make it mandatory for landlords to meet minimum energy efficiency standards,” said Mr Hughes.
“The market hasn’t succeeded in delivering warm healthy homes or rentals in New Zealand, so it’s clear that we need mandatory standards.
“HomeStar is a good first step, but we’ll have to wait to see if it can deliver warm healthy homes and rentals.”