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Better Performing Homes For New Zealanders

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Better Performing Homes For New Zealanders

1 December 2008

The Association of Building Sustainability Assessors today lent their public support to the recommendations in the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development's report, ``Better performing homes for New Zealanders.’’

ABSA New Zealand spokesperson Glenn Murdoch commented, ``The Business Council's report outlines key strategies that ABSA have been advocating for a long time. We wholeheartedly endorse the report, and encourage national and local Government's to act immediately. The problem of substandard housing in New Zealand is huge, and requires strong leadership at all levels of Government to resolve. New Zealanders’ spend approximately 70% of their time indoors in homes that are contributing to the decline in the health, well-being and productivity of New Zealanders. Why would the Government not act to solve this problem?’’

The Business Council report recommends the introduction of a mandatory rating system for homes, similar to a Warrant of Fitness check for your car. Mr Murdoch said that ABSA is currently supporting the development of a rating tool that will achieve the outcomes outlined the Business Council's report. ``One of the key elements of this rating tool will be the amount of energy that your homes uses. The Home Energy Rating Scheme is a perfect tool to analyse the amount of energy your home uses, and recommend improvements.’’

The Home Energy Rating Scheme was developed by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority and launched late in 2007. It rates the energy efficiency of a home using a star rating, similar to that on an energy-efficient appliance.

One of the potential adverse impacts of such a rating scheme is the added cost to homeowners. Mr Murdoch said that it was essential that the costs for any mandatory rating scheme were kept as low as possible, and that Government assistance is made available both to undertake a rating and to upgrade homes to the minimum standard as required.


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