Builders compete for customers by touting the features of their homes. Some builders promote 'six-star' home energy ratings in ways that could mislead consumers and breach Australian Consumer Law.
Buyers pay more for a home they know has a good energy rating. That's worth an extra 2.4-9.4% in the only part of Australia where energy ratings must be disclosed at the time of sale.
Buildings are central to creating more sustainable cities, and green ratings are often used to assess how well a building measures up against this goal. But the current system has serious flaws.
While new buildings may be the glamorous eco-home pinups, retrofitting existing homes is the main game when it comes to creating energy-efficient, comfortable housing stock for all Australians.
The law says that newly built houses should have a six-star energy rating, to help residents afford their heating and cooling bills. But some builders seem to be findings ways around this requirement.
Homebuyers want energy-efficient homes. The challenge is to present the relevant information in a way that taps into the typical house-hunter's mindset.