Lower bills, added value among 6 Star Standard perks

Rising power bills mean living in an energy efficient home has never been more important.   This had led to significant debates across the country on energy security and the best approach to reduce electricity costs for consumers. While electricity and energy is a hot topic – the Victorian Building Authority reminds residents of the benefits of complying with the 6 Star Standard.

All new homes, renovations, alterations and additions need to comply with the energy efficiency provisions in the National Construction Code which includes the option of complying with the 6 Star Standard.

The rating applies to a home, including the building envelope – its roof, walls, floor and windows. The benefits of meeting the 6 Star Standard include saving money on energy bills, increasing the value of your home, increased comfort and making your home more resilient to changing climates. 6 Star homes are projected to use 24 per cent less energy through heating and cooling compared to 5 Star homes.

Victorian Building Authority’s Director Enquiries, Inspections and Complaints Murray Smith said meeting the 6 Star Standard is not difficult if you develop an effective relationship with your registered building practitioner at the design stage.

“The first step is to confirm the builder or plumber you are talking to is registered or licensed via the VBA’s online Find a Practitioner tool,” Mr Smith said.

“Ask to see physical examples of previous projects and to speak with previous clients. It is a major warning sign if they can not or will not provide this.

“Having good communication lines with your builder and plumber is important for building projects.

“It is only through this relationship and reading the information on VBA’s website that you will fully understand the building process.

“Building a home will likely be the single biggest investment you make and it is important to do your research and take the necessary steps to protect yourself.”

If a dispute occurs, a homeowner should first try and resolve it by talking to their builder and building surveyor. For tips to help resolve building disputes, visit Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria (DBDRV)’s website. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, consider approaching DBDRV directly.

Victorian homeowners may also be eligible to access Justice Connect’s new domestic building legal service. The service assists homeowners to navigate the dispute resolution process by providing “unbundled” legal help with the assistance of volunteer lawyers.

To check the registration and licensing of a builder or plumber in Victoria, use the online Find a Practitioner tool at vba.vic.gov.au.

For information on the Six Star Standard and energy efficiency, search ‘energy efficiency’ at vba.vic.gov.au or visit nathers.gov.au.

For information on electricity and gas safety, visit Energy Safe Victoria’s website via esv.vic.gov.au.

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