Media Releases | 14th Aug, 2020

Victorians left in the dark on home energy questions

Real estate agents in Victoria are routinely unable to provide house-hunters with basic information about the energy efficiency of homes, with as many as 91% not being able to identify their properties’ energy ratings, survey results released today by Environment Victoria reveal. 

Surveys of over 300 real estate agents were conducted by volunteers posing as house-hunters at open-for-inspections and over the phone.

The results have led Environment Victoria to call for laws requiring the disclosure of energy efficiency ratings at the point of sale, plus minimum energy efficiency standards for rental properties in Victoria.

“Too many Victorians will either shiver through August to save energy, or pay a lot more on bills to stay warm. But inefficient homes are a problem every year, not just during lockdown,” said Environment Victoria campaigns manager Nicholas Aberle.

“Right now, there is no law in Victoria that requires someone selling or renting a house to provide information about how much energy is needed to keep that home at a livable temperature.

“Our surveying of real estate agents at open-for-inspections shows that the average house-hunter simply can’t get access to basic information about whether they’re about to move into a home that is unbearably hot in summer and frigid in winter, or that costs fortune in energy bills.

“Inefficient homes are actually a safety issue: heatwaves and cold snaps can kill vulnerable people because they can’t keep inefficient homes at a safe temperature.

“It is time we passed laws In Victoria requiring that real estate agents tell home buyers about a home’s energy efficiency rating. 

“Because renters face financial and legal barriers to upgrading their homes, minimum energy efficiency standards, which would prohibit the letting of substandard housing, are the only way to lift the energy performance of rental properties.”

Download one-page report summary here

Download Home Truths report here

Dr Nicholas Aberle, Environment Victoria Campaign Manager
Mobile: 0402 512 121

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