ICANZ commissions, collects and curates research and statistics that help inform responsible Governement policy at Local, State and Federal level. A commitment to insulation best practice ensures local communities and both Australis and New Zealand are realising the wide-reaching benefits delivered by appropriate insulation.
ICANZ seeks better state and federal government regulation to improve the energy efficiency of commercial and residential buildings.
Its activities include submissions and representations to government in the development of policy and regulatory change.
Federal and state governments have all voiced a strong commitment to the ethos of sustainability and despite many years of industry promotion, market forces have failed to greatly improve the energy efficiency of buildings or address the growing energy demand. Australian buildings are the least efficient in the OECD (Organsiation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries.
We also offer commentary on the current state of the market and the global and local factors that influence the insulation industry.
Challenges for Government
One of the key challenges for policy developers is how to meet increasing energy demands. A recently released study by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Environmental Issues: People’s Views and Practices (No. 4602.0, 29 Nov. 2005), found that only about half of Australian homes are insulated, and that 20 per cent of people do not even know if they have insulation installed. The study also found that air-conditioning installations in Australian homes have increased from 33 per cent in 1994 to 60 per cent in 2005 with the trend continuing.
ICANZ believes governments must re-engage with insulation and help raise awareness in the community of the benefits of improving energy efficiency in the home and the important role of insulation.
Better energy regulations to improve our energy efficiency will significantly reduce the energy wasted through poorly insulated buildings, improve Australia’s economic performance and competitiveness, and improve Australia’s environmental performance in reducing our GHG emissions.
The wide-reaching benefits of insulation
Proper insulation is not just about creating energy efficient homes. There are wide-reaching benefits, spanning many policy areas.
Health and Social
1. People spend a great proportion of their lives in buildings. Insulation provides more than energy efficiency. Thermal and acoustic insulation play important roles in improving the quality of life by providing environments that are more comfortable – this leads to greater productivity at work.
2. Studies show that well insulated buildings provide a healthier environment by controlling temperature and noise levels.
3. By reducing household and business running costs, energy saving from insulation can provide a buffer to other cost-of-living increases.
4. Insulation protects and improves the quality of life for the elderly and socially disadvantaged.
1. Insulation reduces average home heating and cooling costs by around 30%
2. Insulation reduces the burden of increasing energy prices.
3. The cost of installing insulation pays for itself in around 3-5 years through reduced energy bills, and payback time will improve as energy costs rise over time.
4. The right insulation is a once only cost that last for the life of the building (typically 50-70 years) and requires no further maintenance.
5. Insulation improves property values and has been shown to increase the return on rented and leased properties.
6. Insulation is not expensive. To insulate the ceilings and walls of a typical house costs less than 1% of the total construction cost.
Load and Demand
1. Insulated buildings reduce the need for additional power generation capacity by ‘smoothing out’ the peaks in energy demand.
2. Well-insulated homes have a reduced need for air-conditioning.
1. Saved energy is the most susatainable energy.