The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has published their findings showing that Australian homes are getting bigger and that sustainable design is becoming popular.

The Australian Housing Data Portal (AHD) was developed by CSIRO to use energy efficiency data to help with raising awareness, training and decision making about sustainable homes. This portal will become a tool that can be used to track the progress of the national plan supported by COAG energy ministers. The plan should help Australia on its road to zero energy homes.

The most important data published by CSIRO:

  • Average floor area is 132sqm
  • Homes in Australia are increasing in size
  • During the last year, 195,000 new homes were built in Australia
  • ACT and Tasmania are leading when it comes to building high-performance homes
  • Average homes have concrete floor, metal roof and brick veneer walls
  • An average new home has an energy rating of 6.2 stars. When the energy rating was introduced in 2001, the average rating was 1.8 stars. The improvement in energy efficiency means that around 2.3 tonnes of CO2 and $560 in energy bills is saved every year per home.

The Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) is the primary source for the data. Stephen White, director of grids and energy efficiency research at CSIRO said that the data shows progress in sustainable housing.

White said that the tracking of progress is crucial for meeting the national goals of resilient cities and sustainable energy. He stated that tracking changes would help to make sure that emissions goals are met, and seeing which area needs more attention from experts.

The data shown on the portal includes info from different climate zones and states. Furthermore, all data can be broken down by construction, heating/cooling systems, design, appliances and fixtures.

CSIRO plans to update the data monthly, to make sure that the tool is accessible and relevant for all Australian residential energy efficiency stakeholders.