In a national first, Australians are being offered discounted loans for homes that are highly energy efficient.
The Clean Energy Finance Corporation scheme launched the scheme on Tuesday with Bank Australia.
It applies to people who buy or build homes with a minimum seven stars under the nationwide house energy rating scheme, with eligible borrowers to get a 0.4 per cent discount on their home finance.
The discounted rate will apply for five years and is for mortgages below $1.5 million.
A seven-star rating is higher than the minimum standard in most states and territories, and is based on how much heating and cooling a house needs to stay comfortable year round.
The maximum 10-star rating is achieved when homes may not need any artificial cooling or heating at all in order to be comfortable.
In a few months the loan scheme is expected to be rolled out to existing homes to finance green improvements.
The move seeks to reduce emissions in the property sector, which amounts to just under 25 per cent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions.
The scheme has started amid renewed political debate on the adequacy of the federal government’s energy policies and emissions reduction target.
That debate’s been given fresh impetus from the current bushfire crisis and the link with climate change.
Energy Security Board chairwoman Kerry Schott says national leadership is needed to co-ordinate the sector, otherwise electricity supply is at risk.
Dr Schott told Nine newspapers the increase of renewables into the grid has put pressure on its security and reliability, with more hydroelectricity, battery storage and gas needed.
But Energy Minister Angus Taylor maintains the coalition has a national energy policy.
“We put in place the national reliability obligation,” he told Sydney radio 2GB on Tuesday.
Mr Taylor defended the government’s latest emissions reduction report, as it applied recalculations to previous data, changing the numbers.
Labor has labelled it “climate deceit”.
Meanwhile, the government is finalising its energy investment roadmap which will soon be open for public comment.
It creates a framework for the government’s short and long term investment priorities in order to reduce emissions, looking at more than 100 technologies in order to do so.
Government projections show the National Electricity Market will be powered by more than 40 per cent renewable sources in 2025 and 50 per cent in 2030.
The latter target was the goal Labor took to the federal election last year, which the coalition labelled “economy wrecking”.