Residential energy efficiency standards

On 1 May 2024, changes will be made to the National Construction Code (NCC) 2022 which will improve residential energy efficiency standards in new homes. The Modern Homes residential energy efficiency standards will be implemented through amendment of the existing Queensland Development Code 4.1 – Sustainable Buildings (PDF, 371.03 KB).

The changes will improve the energy efficiency of the building shell, and for the first time, account for the energy usage of household appliances and equipment. Features like house orientation and better insulation may go unnoticed, but they will make a positive difference to the comfort and energy costs of a new home.

These changes will:

  • make homes more comfortable to live in
  • provide cost-of-living savings on energy bills over the life of the home
  • provide a greener future through emissions reduction.

What this means

The thermal performance of the building shell (i.e. roof, walls, windows and floors) is generally assessed through a star rating system, although other methods of compliance are available.

New houses and units will have a:

  • 7-star rating (out of 10) for the building shell (roof, walls, windows and floors).
    • Energy efficiency features may include optimal house orientation, better insulation and window design, ceiling fans and a lighter-coloured roof.
    • While Queensland will align with the NCC 2022 energy efficiency requirements, the optional one-star credit towards the building shell for inclusion of an outdoor living area will be extended to take advantage of Queensland’s outdoor lifestyle and climate. However, the optional credit for installation of a solar photovoltaic (PV) energy system will cease on 30 April 2024, as it is counted elsewhere.
  • Whole of Home energy budget that promotes energy efficient appliances and equipment (including air-conditioners, hot water heaters and lighting) and on-site renewable energy e.g. solar photovoltaic (PV) system.


For a new home in Queensland, the new residential energy efficiency standards will provide an average electricity saving of $185 per year across Queensland’s 4 climate zones. The region (climate zone) where a person lives will influence the energy efficiency features needed for compliance.

The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) commissioned an independent analysis for jurisdictions to transition to the new standards from 2019 to 2022. The Department of Energy and Public Works commissioned a cost-benefit analysis to investigate the impacts for Queensland of adopting the NCC 2022 residential energy efficiency standards. This analysis identified a net benefit of about $506 million for the Queensland community.

The uplift in standards is estimated to reduce emissions by 4.63 million tonnes.


Queensland will adopt the residential energy efficiency standards from 1 May 2024. This will provide industry with additional time to adjust to the new standards.

More information

For more information about the NCC 2022, visit the ABCB website.