Energy efficiency requirements for new homes

All new homes and extensions built in South Australia must meet the minimum energy efficiency requirements prescribed in the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

An energy efficiency assessment must be carried out to check if a house complies with the requirements. The measures required depend on the climate zone where a house is located.

SA climate zones map

Energy efficiency requirements

Building thermal performance for occupancy comfort include:

  • measures to reduce heating and cooling loads
  • thermal insulation in roofs, walls and floors
  • adequate glazing performance
  • appropriate building sealing and draught proofing
  • adequate ventilation and air movement.

Services to reduce greenhouse gas emissions include:

  • insulation of services such as ductwork and piping
  • appropriate sealing of heating and cooling ductwork
  • performance of artificial lighting
  • efficient water heaters
  • use of renewable energy sources eg solar panels.

Thermal performance is a separate matter in the BCA and must be addressed individually.

Energy efficiency requirements as individual elements

Advisory Notice 01/16 Energy efficiency provisions and the use of solar offsets

Buildings eligible for energy efficiency concessions

Certain requirements apply to all new elevated Class 1 buildings with a lightweight flooring system and that can be moved (including transportable buildings), regardless of whether they are constructed on or off-site:

  1. Houses with a floor area of 60 square metres or more will be eligible for a 5-star concession subject to a number of conditions:
    (i) they are located in:
    a) Climate Zone 4 as defined in the Building Code of Australia (see map reference below) and
    b) one of the following local government areas
    • Ceduna Council
    • Cleve Council
    • The Coorong District Council
    • Elliston Council
    • Flinders Ranges Council
    • Franklin Harbour Council
    • Goyder Council
    • Kangaroo Island Council
    • Karoonda East Murray Council
    • Kimba Council
    • Land not within a Council area
    • Lower Eyre Peninsula Council
    • Mid Murray Council
    • Mount Remarkable Council
    • Orroroo Carrieton Council
    • Peterborough Council
    • Southern Mallee Council
    • Streaky Bay Council
    • Tatiara Council
    • Tumby Bay Council
    • Wudinna Council

    (ii) the additional energy consumed by a 5-star transportable house must be offset by the installation of a renewable energy source, such as an appropriately sized photovoltaic system. The size of the renewable energy source required is determined by SA Table of the BCA (below):

    SA Table - Required minimum level of energy to be generated by an on-site renewable energy source

    Climate Zone Star rating of Class 1 building 5.0 - 5.4 stars Star rating of Class building 5.5 - 5.9 stars
    4 4.6 kWh/m2 3.8 kWh/m2
    5 3.9 kWh/m2 3.4 kWh/m2
    6 8.5 kWh/m2 7.6 kWh/m2
  2. Houses with a floor area less than 60 square metres, regardless of their location, will be eligible for a 5-star concession and will not be required to offset the additional energy consumed.
  3. Houses not covered by 1. or 2. must meet 6-star energy efficiency requirements and must not offset the star rating difference with solar panels in order to achieve compliance.

Energy concession map

The concession map can be viewed in these locations:

Related information

Other websites


For an alternative version of a document on this page contact the PlanSA Service Desk.

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      Page last updated 1 March 2023

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