Our research confirms the policy proposals that minimum house energy regulations based on the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme are a powerful instrument for delivering better environmental and energy outcomes. While introducing minimum standards has significantly lifted the bottom end of the market, those standards should be reviewed regularly to ensure optimal economic and environmental outcomes.
Australia – the land of plentiful opportunities – has made its migration and settlement processes fairly easy, transparent and less time consuming. Unlike other developed western world, Australia is open to migrants with talent and skills that can help further boost the economy of the country. The country attracts migrants from world over. There’s virtually no one barred from applying for Australian migration if they fit the eligibility criteria.
However, there are instances where the aspiring migrants are refused a visa to Australia. Best Migration Services Australia (BMS Australia) recently sketched a list of common reasons regarding visa refusals. The list concisely outlines some very basic reasons why some migrants are refused entry to settle in the continent. The list is comprehensive in a way that it highlights detailed information that the migration aspirants tend to – nearly always – overlook or take for granted.
Here are the 3 most common reasons we have picked out for you from the list published by BMS Australia!
Not lodging the correct visa application
The number one reason for Australian visa refusal is non eligibility for a particular visa. For instance, if you are applying to migrate to Australia as a general skilled migrant, then your profile should match the profession you’ve opted for in your application lodgement. An electrical engineer portraying as a sales executive will certainly ruin his chances for his migration application under the Skilled Visa regime. A technical sales representative filing her application as a customer service executive is also one such example where a visa might be refused.
Lack of documentary evidence
Documents and supportive evidence – these are the two essentials that you should not go wrong with. Your visa application and the outcome practically depend on these two factors. The Australian authorities will vet and scrutinize through the documentary evidence you submit in order to check your eligibility for migration under a certain visa. For instance, if you are an experienced HVAC installer but don’t have the diploma or the certification to prove your channels of attaining knowledge; you might have a visa rejection on the cards. Similarly, for spouse visa, if you are unable to establish evidence of a legitimate relationship with your partner via documentary evidence; the outcome might not hold promising news for you. Documentary evidence is of utmost importance and only an experienced MARA Agent – like one from the BMS team – can guide you on the right documents you need for a certain visa type.
Doctored claims and evidences
The background check mechanism of the Australian Home Affairs and Immigration department are very comprehensive and fool-proof. Hiding any past convictions, forging work documents and faking education in your Australian Visa application will not only eliminate any chances of your getting the visa but you might also face stringent consequences on charges of trying to game the system. Similarly, you don’t really get off the Australian Immigration department’s radar even after you get the visa and have landed. Any concealment of facts with a mala fide intention to forge your way into Australia can land you in a lot of trouble with authorities in Australia and at home. Forgery of evidence is a case so serious that even an Australian lawyer or MARA Agent will not be able to assist you with your post visa refusal appeal. However, in case, there was any unintentional error or oversight when lodging the application and providing the documents then you might benefit from consulting an immigration specialist to investigate your case and advise you accordingly.
These are the 3 most common reasons that result in Australian Visa refusals. For a complete list of 7 such causes listed at BMS Australia, please click here.
If you are looking to migrate to Australia from the UAE, other GCC territories, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal or Srilanka then get in touch with FBP International today. Also, if you are facing a visa refusal and want to know the correct procedure to re-apply or appeal then let us get you expert advice from registered MARA Agents and Australian lawyers at BMS Australia on choosing the right path to move ahead. FBP – in collaboration with BMS Australia – is considered an Australian migration consultation specialist not only by our clients but by our competitors too.
So if you are in a situation where you need complete peace of mind with your Australian Migration processing, then simply call +971507513997 / +971501028196 / +971529016145 for a FREE initial consultation or click here to book your consultation online. FBP will champion and advocate your right to a secure future and a prime lifestyle in Australia.
Australia – the land of plentiful – has made it easier for aspiring migrants to migrate and settle down in the continent. Australia is a huge country that enjoys a dynamic economy bundled with mega infrastructure developments. The Australian authorities have made the migration process transparent, robust and less time-consuming for those who have the skills and talents that are needed in the country.
Mostly, the skilled immigrants migrate to Australia with their spouse and children. However, like every other society and culture, Australian norms about the institution of a family being together are no different. That is one of the reasons that Australian authorities have introduced a myriad of parent visa subclasses so that migrants do not have to leave their parents behind when pursuing their dreams of a secure future in Australia.
As a migrant, you are entitled to apply for parents’ visa to visit you or live with you in Australia. This means that you can have your parents visit you during vacations or you can simply have them live with you as a permanent resident just like you. The range of visas is extensive. However, in order to increase your chances of a promising outcome for your parents’ visa, you’ll need to select the right visa subclass when lodging the application.
As per the Australian Immigration Authorities, there are 7 visa subclasses that are available for parent visa applications. All these 7 visa subclasses cover different types of parent visas that have varying eligibility.
The Parent Visa Subclasses
- Subclass 804 Aged Parent visa
- Subclass 884 Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) visa
- Subclass 864 Contributory Aged Parent visa
- Subclass 173 Contributory Parent (Temporary) visa
- Subclass 143 Contributory Parent visa
- Subclass 103 Parent visa
- Subclass 870 Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa
Each of these subclasses has a different eligibility criteria and requirements. However, following are some of the requirements of the Australian Parents visa that you might find common in all Australian parent visa subclasses eligibility criterion.
- The sponsor of the parents must either be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident.
- The sponsor can provide financial assurity bonds and other documentation that proves that the sponsor is able to take care of the parents without having to rely on any form of governmental support.
- The parents pass the balance of family test. Your parents meet the balance of family test only if
- at least half of their children and stepchildren are eligible Australian Permanent Residents or Citizens
- there are more eligible children living in Australia than in any other country
- at least half of their children and stepchildren are eligible Australian Permanent Residents or Citizens
- Generally, the onshore parents visa requires your parents to be at least 65 years of age when applying for a permanent visa.
- Your parents will also need to meet the health and character criteria set by the Australian authorities.
Also, there is another way that you can have your parents with you in lesser duration for longer. However, the mechanics of that method requires lots of paperwork, documentation processing and its more of an “Only FBP Can” secret. Stay with us as we will be revealing part of that secrets in our upcoming blog posts about parent visas
Where to start?
You will have to start by selecting the right visa subclass for your parents. For this purpose, you’ll have to identify if you want your parents to come over for the purpose of visiting you or you want them to settle and live with you in Australia. As mentioned before, there are seven distinguished parent visa subclasses that you can apply for your parents for them to join you in Australia. However, this can turn out to be extremely daunting task since there is a lot of paperwork involved. Also, the chances of visa refusal can increase if you are not able to provide the correct paperwork.
Let FBP Help You With Your Parents Visa For Australia
This is where FBP International steps in to help you. FBP International is the exclusive partner of BMS Australia – one of the finest Australian immigration firms located within the continent. Best Migration Services Australia is an exclusive member of the Member of Migration Alliance (MMA) – Australia. The team at BMS constitutes of experienced and qualified MARA registered agents as well as lawyers who are also members of their respective Australian bars and law societies.
We take pride in being the only Australian immigration agent that delivers turnkey immigration services to Australia from Dubai. Our comprehensive and transparent process starts from a FREE pre assessment migration consultation and takes your case step-by-step until your visa is granted. At FBP International, we understand the exact requirements of lodging and processing your parent visa application. Our Australian migration consultation expert’s handhold you through the process and keep you updated at every step of your visa application. We will also guide you on how to lodge your parent visa application for increased chances of a favourable outcome.
If you are missing your parents and want them to be with you in Australia then simply CALL +971507513997 / +971501028196 / +971529016145 to book your appointment with our Australian Migration Consultant or click here to start your assessment online.
VETASSESS is a key skills assessment and vetting authority in Australia. This body assesses and vets the professional and vocational qualifications of the aspiring migrants. A recent notification from the VETASSESS team to all registered MARA agents and lawyers indicate that they are experiencing processing delays due to a recent hike in applications for skills assessments.
Following is the quoted text from VETASSESS’s notification to registered MARA agents and lawyers.
Thank you for your skills assessment applications. We are currently experiencing processing delays due to a significant increase in the amount of applications that we usually receive. We appreciate your patience with us, as we work to return the application process to the normal time-frames. We aim to have your clients applications allocated to assessors within the next 10 business days. Following this, our intention is to have the applications completed within three weeks of allocation. Appeal cases may take longer than this as they rely on the advice from external and independent bodies. We may contact you if we need further documentation/information to complete your clients application. Thank you for your continued support, your clients will receive assessment outcomes from us shortly.
On behalf of the Vetassess Team”
Please note that due to the delay by the VETASSESS team, it might take some of our clients longer than usual to have their applications decided. We are keeping a keen eye on the situation and will update our clients of further developments in this regard.
Adelaide is the capital city of the state of South Australia and is one of the best cities of the continent to live and working. Recently, the city was listed in the most livable cities of the world due to its moderate weather and lower cost of living. Since 2012, the city has been scoring high for its affordability of living in the world and takes pride in being one of the multicultural cities that offers inexpensive food, lower interest rates and moderate real estate prices. Fortunately, it is easier to migrate to Australia and settle down in Adelaide since its categorised as regional Australia.
Adelaide enjoys typical Mediterranean climate and that helps in exploring the outdoors without much hassle. Also, the summers are long followed by a shorter span of a milder winter experiencing lesser than average rainfall. The city can be visited at any part of the year and is an authentic all-season tourist retreat.
From a tourism perspective, Adelaide has to a lot to offer for children of all ages. Once you land in the city to settle down or as a tourist, you’ll have plenty to do and visit in and around the city. From exotic cuisines and home drawn wine to exotic wildlife parks and calm strolls along beautiful North Terrace, the city has a lot to offer. The outskirts of Adelaide have several daytrip options such as Kangaroo Islands and Barossa.
Here are some of the top exciting things you can do in Adelaide:
Taste multicultural fusion cuisines at the Adelaide Central Market:
The Adelaide Central Market should be your first stop when in the city. The market boasts of a rich history and has been serving the residents and tourists since 1896! There are more than 70 food mongers selling from exotic and delicious seafood to kebabs and sweet delicacies; you will be tentalized by the taste and the buzz of the market will add flavour. You can also try some of the smelly cheese soup, freshly squeezed juices and very authentic sushi in the market. It is advised to plan your visit ahead as the market is not operational on Sundays and Mondays.
The Adelaide Oval
The Adelaide Oval is one of the prime sports and entertainment venues in the city. The Stadium is located very near to the Adelaide city centre and hosts several national and international sporting events throughout the year. The stadium has turned into an icon for the cricket and Australian Football fans who turn up here just to get a selfie with this stadium’s iconic building in the backdrop. The stadium also hosts dedicated food courts and sports related merchandizing shops. There’s a free museum dedicated to Australia’s best cricketer ever – Sir Donald Bradman – which is a treat for all the cricket fans. The museum displays the evolution of the game of cricket in the shape of wall art.
The Adelaide Zoo
The Adelaide zoo is not your ordinary around the corner place with caged animals. It is a place far beyond what you can imagine. Australia is called land of the plenty because most of the Australian wildlife is unique and there are species being discovered every other day from the Aussie wilderness. From Red Kangaroos to lazy Koalas and the Tasmanian devils, you’ll come across animal species that are unique to Australia. Also, don’t forget to watch the different types of Australian snakes that shimmer and standout due to their uniquely distinctive shapes. All the cages have been made to match the natural habitat of the residing animals. The zoo allows sleep overs against a fee and allows feeding the animals (Please check with the zookeepers for the authorized diets that are available on spot before attempting to feed any animal).
Adelaide Botanic Gardens
Adelaide has a lot to offer for nature lovers. The Adelaide Botanic Gardens are located right next to the Adelaide Zoo and you can visit both sites together. The Botanic gardens are huge and offer the visitors eight vast gardens, a full-fledge wet-land and an in-house forest. All this is spread over massive 124 acres of land. The Adelaide Botanic Gardens also hosts a bicentennial conservatory and a dedicated museum showcasing the concept of economic Botany. There’s a section in the gardens that showcases the plants with healing properties alongside an area dedicated for children to learn about plants, fruits and herbs. The vast grounds of these gardens are open for family picnics and it is suggested to bring your food basket and assorted accessories along to have a good family time.
The Waterfall Gully is in the Adelaide Cleland Conservation park and is a very popular tourist destination. The main attraction for Adelaide’s tourists and residents alike is this amazing waterfall along with the 3-mile-long hike trail that ends at the Mount Lofty Summit path. The place offers a complete family day out and has everything that can make you and your family enjoy your time together. The gushing water from the waterfalls gleams like gold when sunlight reflects on it. This is perhaps one of the most scenic locations in the whole of Adelaide. Also, if you are planning to hike the track, then don’t forget your cell phone or camera. There are chances that you may spot Red Kangaroos and Koalas along the way.
These are the 5 must-do things in Adelaide. Of course, Adelaide has a lot more to offer for everyone, but nature lovers and adventure seekers love it more because of countless opportunities available. FBP International has helped 1000+ families and individuals settle into Australia and you could be the next! We provide turnkey Australia settlement solutions in collaboration with BMS Australia. Please click here to book an appointment and secure yours and your loved one’s future.
The Great Barrier Reef located in Queensland, Australia is the world’s largest coral reef. The reef is massive in size and has a stretch of nearly 2400 KM along the coastline of Queensland. The reef debuts at the peninsula of Cape York and works its way down to Bundaberg in the south. The reef has been declared as a global heritage area and the total span of the reef in the ocean wings up to 348,000 KM2.
The reef has a myriad of islands located within its stretch and some of them have taken up shapes of beautiful objects such as the heart shaped coral. The cumulative size of the reef is larger than the area of Denmark, United Kingdom and Switzerland combined. Also, this reef is one of natural rare structures that is vividly visible and markable from outer space.
The Great Barrier reef is known for its humongous size, crystal clear waters, biodiversity and breath-taking landscapes. This reef is the most liked spots among water sport enthusiasts. From sailing on the large waves to scuba diving in order to witness the mesmerizing ocean floor, there is something for everyone to explore at this reef. You will need at least 5 to 6 days at hand. This reef cannot be enjoyed in a day out.
Scuba Diving and Ocean Floor Exploring:
Scuba Diving is one of the key activities that you’ll indulge in at The Great Barrier Reef. There’s a saying that if you haven’t seen The Great Barrier Reef through a scuba mask; you’ve missed it all. However, it is important to consider your skill level adequacy to see if it is fit for scuba diving at any of the sub-reefs. The most popular spots are the Cairns and Ribbon reefs located right in the heart of the great reef itself. These two spots are perfect for first-time scuba divers. The ocean floor at these two locations are simply mesmerizing! You’ll witness the ultra-beautiful shoals of small and mid-size undersea fauna dodging the coral build-ups and swimming in a rhythmic pattern. The best time to go scuba diving is during the Australian summers amid calm and sunny weather conditions.
Love is in the Air – Heart Reef:
If you are a couple, newly married or have decided on rebooting your romantic lives, then the heart reef should be on your to-do-for-sure list! The heart reef lies within the hardy reef area of the Great Barrier and is a natural coral composition that was first discovered in 1975. Since the reef has been declared a national and international heritage site, so you can’t land on the reef or explore it on foot. However, if you are taking your loved one for a one-off great surprise, then simply hop on to the sea plane service for an aerial view. That’s where the magic is. The heart reef has achieved the symbolical status of a romantic site and there have been proposals and re-vowing in air with eyes stuck onto this magical view symbolizing love and beauty.
Peace and Serenity – Valsoff Cay Island
Have you ever desired having a deserted island all to yourself with the sea kissing on all sides? Well, the Valsoff Cay Island is your desire coming true! You can hire a chopper ride with your family – complete with your diving gear, picnic basket and rugs – to the Valsoff Cay Island for a wonderful 90-minute excursion on an inhabited island where your privacy wouldn’t be hindered by anyone. This will be the best one and a half hour that you will spend with your loved ones in the most beautiful romantic settings with no botheration from anyone whatsoever.
Sailing – The Sindbad In You
If you love the sea, then you can’t miss out on sailing The Great Barrier reef! The north of Cairns reef is the best spot to embark on your short or long sailing adventure. There is a myriad of sailing options to choose from. Either you can enjoy the views on a luxury multi-day yacht trip, or you can keep it classic with a wind propelled small yacht and hop from island to island. The sailing conditions are usually normal all year round. However, Australian summers add a more fantastic flavour to the adventures. The salty sea breeze along with rhythmic and calm sea waves with you captaining your ship is a dream come true for many. There are many sailing providers located in the Queensland city and at the reef as well. You can plan your day trip by getting in touch with anyone of them. This, for sure, will be a sail you’ll cherish for a lifetime!
Don’t Forget the Land Fauna:
We are done with everything that had to do with water at The Great Barrier Reef. However, there is a wildlife sanctuary located in Port Douglas near to Cairns which helps promote conservation of the native Australian species. The sanctuary hosts a series of wetlands, rainforest, woodland and savannah animals. You’ll be able to spend time among them and even touch some of them. You’ll find huge pythons, resting Koalas, Kangaroos, crocs and even pelicans at the site. There are multiple ways you can book your day out at the sanctuary. There are on spot tickets also available.
These are the 5 must-do things at The Great Barrier Reef. And now is the best time to migrate to Australia to secure your future and enjoy the amazing wonders that the beautiful continent has to offer. FBP International is the best migration agent in the UAE that provides turnkey consultancy for Migration to Australia. Click here to book a free pre-assessment and consultation with one of our Australian immigration experts.
The Australian economy is booming, and the unemployment rates have constantly remained under 3% in the past few years. The GDP growth of Australia has remained stable with a positive outlook. Therefore, Australia needs more talent and manpower. Australia’s economy is inclusive and gives everyone a level playing field to reap benefits. Also, the economy also has a lot to thank for migrants whose contribution has been one of its key cornerstones.
Australian immigration authorities are always updating their policies to favour skilled migrants. This is because there is massive infrastructure development going on in the continent and the need for skilled human capital is increasing.
Recently, Best Migration Services Australia posted a list of some of the most in-demand jobs in Australia. The most in-demand jobs in Australia are:
There is some good news for all engineers looking to migrate to Australia for better career opportunities. Some of the most in-demand Engineering fields in Australia are:
- Chemical, Biochemical and Petro Chemical Industry
- Metallurgical Engineering
- Civil, Road and Transportation
- Quantity and Quality Surveying
- Geophysical and Geo Technical Engineering
- Construction and Structural Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- Electronics Engineering
- Industrial and Solar Engineering
- Mechanical, Mechatronics and Avionics Engineering
- Production Control Management Systems
- Agricultural Engineering
- Environmental Engineering
The Australia population is growing due to the major migrant influx in the country. The country has a resolve to provide the best health care to its citizens, permanent residents and visitors. Here are some of the healthcare professions that have a good chance of getting an Australian PR.
- Medical Doctors
- Medical Registered Nurses
- Special Need Children Carers
- Nursing Associates and Support
- Aged Carers
- Medical lab technicians and Phlebotomists
- Caretakers for the people with special needs and disabilities
Information Technology (IT)
The Australian IT industry is expanding by the day. Due to a stable economy, the IT eco-system in Australia is sustainable and attracts a lot of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Following are some of the IT fields that command a lot of demand in Australia:
- Computer Programmers
- Web Developers
- Graphic Designers
- Digital Content Creators
- Mobile Application Developers
- Database Administrators
- Business Intelligence Professionals
- Blockchain apps and protocol developers
- Network Administrators
Education and Training
The Australian government and authorities lay special stress on providing top of the line education in the country. This is one of the reasons that some of the Australian education institutions have global recognition for being the best. Following are some of the Education and training fields that need manpower from the overseas:
- Elementary, Middle and High School Faculty
- School Administrators
- Hostel Wardens
- Subject Specialist Lecturers
- PE Instructors
- Vocational Skill Trainers
Accounting and Bookkeeping
Qualified professional accountants, bookkeepers and ledger clerks have a consistently growing demand throughout Australia. Following are some of the Accounting jobs that are in-demand in Australia.
- Financial Analysts
- Chartered Accountants
- Bookkeeping Clerks
- Ledger Recording Clerks
- Warehouse accounting professionals
- Financial Consolidators
Please note that these are not the only professions that are required for the Australian PR. There are 500+ skills in the SOL list and professionals from nearly all walks of life can apply. However, like other markets and countries, the competition is tough, and you’ll have to put on your best game to prove your worth as a skilled employee. To read the complete article, please click here for the BMS Australia Blog.
If you want to migrate to Australia, contact FBP today. FBP International is the exclusive partner of BMS Australia – one of the finest Australian immigration firms located within the continent. Click here to book your free initial consultation for migrating to Australia and securing your future.
Lukashenka, President of Belarus, to celebrate independence with Russian Iskander missiles
In Belarus, unlike other post-Soviet countries, Independence Day is not connected with the collapse of the USSR. In fact, July 3 is the date of Minsk’s liberation from the Nazis in 1944.
Why was this choice made? In 1996, President Alyaksandr Lukashenka moved the main holiday to July 3 fighting with the nationally oriented opposition which he squeamishly called “conscious”.
Before that, since 1992, Independence Day had been celebrated on July 27, the day of the adoption of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Belarus. But Lukashenka set a course for “brotherly integration” with Russia and began to destroy the “nationalists’ achievements”.
According to the Soviet pattern
The choice of July 3 for this holiday is criticized by the opponents: on this day only Minsk was freed, but not the whole Belarus, and most importantly — the Stalinist regime returned here. Repressions continued, everything was ruled by Moscow. That is, there was nothing like true freedom and independence of the Belarusian nation.
But the leadership of Belarus stubbornly adhered to the truncated, cramped Soviet version of the national history. Lukashenka is a Soviet man himself, and he wanted to please the Kremlin. For the sake of “brotherly integration”, the actual Russification continued for the sake of cheap Russian resources.
Now the relations between the “sworn allies” have become strained, the Kremlin is forcing the so-called deep integration which smells like a soft acqisition. Lukashenka is resisting but the claw of the Belarusian bird is sitting too tight.
Moscow “marks” the Belarusian foothold
This year’s parade on July 3 in Minsk will begin with aviation. And the eye of the connoisseur will immediately note that the Belarusian Air Force lacks modern combat aircraft. And in general, Russia is not burning with the desire to supply the ally with the latest weapons and equipment. And what is offered is incredibly expensive.
Lukashenka has repeatedly accused Moscow of being mean in this respect. But in light of the current coercion to integrate, one should not count on the Kremlin’s generosity
Some observers believe that Moscow favors the aging arsenal of the Belarusian army in order to impose its military bases: you have no potential to protect the borders of the Union State, they could say.
Russian Iskander missiles will also participate in the ground part of the parade. This will not be a plus for the image of Minsk in the eyes of Western observers. After all, Moscow is threatening its NATO neighbors with Iskander missiles every now and then.
In addition, the appearance of these missile systems on Minsk streets strengthens the arguments of those who consider the Belarusian army only an appendage of the Russian army. But Lukashenka and the Foreign Ministry try hard to prove to Europe that Minsk pursues an independent policy and is a donor of stability in the region!
To be multi-vector, the Chinese and other soldiers from several post-Soviet countries were also invited to the upcoming parade. But Moscow is also looking sideways at Minsk’s military-technical cooperation with Beijing. Every alley is a dead end.
The authorities do not respect ‘Freedom Day’
The democratically-minded and nationally oriented part of the Belarusians considers the unofficial Freedom Day on March 25 as the best date for celebrating independence. It is connected with a short but important for the formation of statehood phenomenon — the appearance of the Belarusian People’s Republic in 1918.
In recent years, when relations with the Kremlin have deteriorated, the Belarusian authorities have been trying to change the official historical narrative to a certain extent and have started to turn to pre-Soviet dates and events. But they are afraid to unfold the Belarusianization so that the Kremlin wouldn’t get angry. Here it is, the trap of “brotherly integration”!
But it’s not just about Moscow. For Lukashenka, a former Soviet political worker, the Freedom Day remains an ideologically alien holiday of the “fifth column”.
Last spring, the authorities refused the organizers to visit the best venues in the capital. And sometimes even housewives with vegetables and pensioners with canes were dispersed on that day. Let the opposition know what country they live in.
Story by political observer Alyaksandr Klaskouski for belsat.eu
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of belsat.eu
New housing in Australia must meet minimum energy performance requirements. We wondered how many buildings exceeded the minimum standard. What our analysis found is that four in five new houses are being built to the minimum standard and a negligible proportion to an optimal performance standard.
Before these standards were introduced the average performance of housing was found to be around 1.5 stars. The current minimum across most of Australia is six stars under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS).
This six-star minimum falls short of what is optimal in terms of environmental, economic and social outcomes. It’s also below the minimum set by many other countries.
There have been calls for these minimum standards to be raised. However, many policymakers and building industry stakeholders believe the market will lift performance beyond minimum standards and so there is no need to raise these.
What did the data show?
We wanted to understand what was happening in the market to see if consumers or regulation were driving the energy performance of new housing. To do this we explored the NatHERS data set of building approvals for new Class 1 housing (detached and row houses) in Australia from May 2016 (when all data sets were integrated by CSIRO and Sustainability Victoria) to December 2018.
Our analysis focuses on new housing in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the ACT, all of which apply the minimum six-star NatHERS requirement. The other states have local variations to the standard, while New South Wales uses the BASIX index to determine the environmental impact of housing.
The chart below shows the performance for 187,320 house ratings. Almost 82% just met the minimum standard (6.0-6.4 star). Another 16% performed just above the minimum standard (6.5-6.9 star).
Only 1.5% were designed to perform at the economically optimal 7.5 stars and beyond. By this we mean a balance between the extra upfront building costs and the savings and benefits from lifetime building performance.
The average rating is 6.2 stars across the states. This has not changed since 2016.
The data analysis shows that, while most housing is built to the minimum standard, the cooler temperate regions (Tasmania, ACT) have more houses above 7.0 stars compared with the warm temperate states.
The ACT increased average performance each year from 6.5 stars in 2016 to 6.9 stars in 2018. This was not seen in any other state or territory.
The ACT is the only region with mandatory disclosure of the energy rating on sale or lease of property. The market can thus value the relative energy efficiency of buildings. Providing this otherwise invisible information may have empowered consumers to demand slightly better performance.
We are paying for accepting a lower standard
The evidence suggests consumers are not acting rationally or making decisions to maximise their financial well-being. Rather, they just accept the minimum performance the building sector delivers.
Higher energy efficiency or even environmental sustainability in the housing provides not only significant benefits to the individual but also to society. And these improvements can be delivered for a little additional cost.
The fact that these improvements aren’t being made suggests there are significant barriers to the market operating efficiently. This is despite increasing awareness among consumers and in the housing industry about the rising cost of energy.
Eight years after the introduction of the six-star NatHERS minimum requirement for new housing in Australia, the results show the market is delivering four out of five houses that just meet this requirement. With only 1.5% designed to 7.5 stars or beyond, regulation rather than the economically optimal energy rating is clearly driving the energy performance of Australian homes.
Increasing the minimum performance standard is the most effective way to improve energy outcomes.
The next opportunity for increasing the minimum energy requirement will be 2022. Australian housing standards were already about 2.0 NatHERS stars behind comparable developed countries in 2008. If mandatory energy ratings aren’t increased, Australia will fall further behind international best practice.
If we continue to create a legacy of homes with relatively poor energy performance, making the transition to a low-energy and low-carbon economy is likely to get progressively more challenging and expensive. Recent research has calculated that a delay in increasing minimum performance requirements from 2019 to 2022 will result in an estimated A$1.1 billion (to 2050) in avoidable household energy bills. That’s an extra 3 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.