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Most new houses being built in Australia do no better than comply with the minimum energy performance required by regulations. Brendon Esposito/AAP

Australia’s still building 4 in every 5 new houses to no more than the minimum energy standard

Australia requires a minimum six-star energy rating for new housing. New homes average just 6.2 stars, so builders are doing the bare minimum to comply, even as the costs of this approach are rising.
Lochiel Park in Adelaide was Australia’s first large-scale attempt to create homes that use near net zero energy. Stephen Berry

When the heat hits: how to make our homes comfortable without cranking up the aircon

Air conditioning changed both building design and people's active management of home temperatures. A return to houses designed for our climate can keep us comfortable and cut energy use and emissions.
The study showed that boosting the office temperature a little can save energy and keep office workers comfortable without sacrificing their cognitive performance. Mami Kempe / The Conversation

Chill out. A slightly warmer office won’t make it too hot to think

Our study found that office workers performed just the same, whether the air conditioning was set at 22°C or 25°C. But making that tweak can cut energy use by 18%.

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