Hot water heater requirements

New requirements for hot water heaters

To reduce the greenhouse emissions produced by water heaters, the ACT Government has restricted the type of water heaters that can be installed in detached houses and townhouses that have not been occupied or sold as a place of residence.

From 31 January 2010, domestic water heaters in houses and townhouses must comply with minimum greenhouse intensity and/or energy efficiency standards.

Only certain solar, heat pump and gas storage and gas instantaneous water heaters can be installed in a hot water system. Electric resistance water heaters are no longer permitted; however, an electric-boosted heat pump or solar water heater can be installed if it meets the minimum standard.

For more information on the types of water heaters that are permitted, see the Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA), particularly Part B2, in conjunction with the ACT Appendix to the PCA. The PCA, which includes its appendices, is free to download, save or print, from Note that the PCA, including its appendices, may be amended from time to time.

The requirements will not apply to:

  • Homes which had building approval for plans before 31 January 2010
  • Water heaters installed in new apartments and units
  • Replacement water heaters in houses built before 31 January 2010
  • Hot water systems being replaced under warranty, and
  • Hot-water systems containing solid fuel-burning equipment being installed in homes in non-urban land areas.

The ACT Government is committed to improving the accessibility of web content. To provide feedback or request an accessible version of a document please contact us or phone 13 22 81.