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Energy efficiency built into Australian code

Consumers will be the big winners as a result of a new agreement to introduce energy efficiency measures into the Building Code of Australia.

The changes will affect all new residential and commercial buildings, as well as major renovations.

This historic joint initiative between the Australian Greenhouse Office and the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB), will mean substantial financial savings for consumers through a reduced need for energy.

"Over the next few years we will see a whole new wave of energy-efficient housing hit the property market," said Senator Minchin, the Commonwealth Minister responsible for building code change.

"This is a really exciting time for all consumers, as they will have access to a range of housing that it is not only cheaper to run but also better for the environment.

"During the next decade, over 1 million new homes will be built in Australia. As a result of these measures, and the support of the building and construction industry, we will be ensuring that they are energy-efficient."

Work is now underway on the new measures, under the guidance of experts from the building industry. Consumers and building professionals will be consulted before the changes come into effect.

Residential and commercial buildings are expected to produce over 100 million tonnes of greenhouse gases this year. Without counter-measures such as this, it is predicted that emissions will rise to over 120 million tonnes by the year 2010.

"Changes to the Building Code of Australia will make a significant contribution to reducing Australia's building-related greenhouse gas emissions.

"The building and construction industry in Australia should be congratulated on their commitment to this initiative.

"Energy efficient buildings will give Australia a competitive edge, with fewer resources required to provide comfortable homes and productive workplaces."

Contact: Carolyn Coleman, Senator Minchin's Office (00618) 8237 7190; or Carol Bartley, Australian Greenhouse Office (00612) 6274 1859

See also www.australia.org.nz

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