Increasing energy costs are leading homebuyers and renters to turn towards energy-efficient homes according to a new report.
According to the PropTrack Energy-Efficient Housing Report, more than two-thirds (68 per cent) of people view energy efficiency ratings for homes as important when buying, renting or building a property.
The report found 34 per cent of homebuyers and renters now consider energy efficiency ratings extremely important, which is 6 per cent higher than the same time last year.
Notably, energy efficiency is most important to renters (44 per cent), compared to homebuyers (29 per cent) and those building their own homes (35 per cent).
According to the report, reducing energy bills (73 per cent) was the main reason property seekers viewed energy efficiency as so crucial.
PropTrack Senior Analyst, Karen Dellow, said Australians are becoming more interested in improving the energy efficiency of their homes as the higher cost of energy usage weighs on household budgets.
She said there are several benefits of having a highly energy-efficient home including saving money on energy bills.
“Features such as double-glazed windows and good insulation can help retain more warmth, reducing the need to rely on heating appliances,” Ms Dellow said.
“Generating electricity from solar panels, rather than relying on taking energy from the grid, can save considerable amounts.”
Buyers (84 per cent) and renters (65 per cent) were most interested in solar power as a feature in energy-efficient homes.
While efficient lighting and energy-efficient appliances also rated highly.
According to the report, searches on realestate.com.au including the keywords ‘energy efficiency’ accounted for 15 per cent of all searches in the past 12 months.
However, despite demand for energy-efficient homes, just 17 per cent of listings on realestate.com.au had one or more energy-efficient feature listed.
While homebuyers and renters aged 50 years and above, were more concerned with energy efficiency (36 per cent) than those aged between 18 and 34 (32 per cent).
Across the country, homebuyers were most interested in energy efficiency ratings in Adelaide (38 per cent) and Melbourne (37 per cent).
Queensland had the lowest percentage of people who viewed ratings as extremely important at just 28 per cent, while in Tasmania, 77 per cent of people viewed ratings as important or extremely important.
Ms Dellow said initiatives like the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) improve the energy efficiency of Australia’s homes and help property seekers save money and reduce the environmental impact.
“New homes must now achieve a 7-star Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme rating and meet an annual energy use budget for the whole home, including major fixed appliances, solar and batteries,” she said.
“Until recently, there was no requirement for new homes to be built to minimum energy-efficient standards in Australia.
“This means that most of Australia’s existing properties were not designed for energy efficiency.”