ACTCOSS welcomes new minimum energy efficiency standards for rentals

9 November 2022

The ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS) has today welcomed the announcement of a new minimum energy standard for rental properties in the ACT.

The new regulation will require landlords to have a minimum standard of ceiling insulation from April 2023 with a phase in period to November 2026.

ACTCOSS CEO, Dr Emma Campbell: “Over one third of Canberrans rent their home and they are paying the highest rents in the country. Renters should be guaranteed a home that protects their health and minimises their energy bills.

“Today’s announcement of a new minimum energy efficient standard requiring a minimum standard of ceiling insulation is a good start. However, it is only a start,” said Dr Campbell.

In consultations for this regulation change, ACTCOSS had called on the ACT Government to commit to including additional measures in the first stage including draught proofing, double glazing or curtaining to ensure the benefits of ceiling insulation are fully released.

Dr Campbell said: “Future stages of this policy should deliver these additional measures alongside minimum standards around energy efficient heating and cooling of rental properties.

“We call on the ACT Government to set a clear path towards the realisation of the full raft of minimum standards.

“It is also critical that there is an effective system for enforcing this regulation. Tenants should not be solely responsible for ensuring that their landlord does the right thing.

“Establishing minimum standards for rental properties is essential to achieving more equitable outcomes for tenants, many of whom are already experiencing significant financial stress. The ACT has the highest rate of low-income private rental households experiencing rental stress. As well as paying Australia’s highest rents, these households have also seen their electricity and gas bills increase by over 25% in the past five years.

“ACTCOSS looks forward to working with the ACT Government to ensure that this policy delivers for renters,” Dr Campbell said.

To find out more about the legislation, visit the ACT Government’s Justice and Community Safety website.

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