There is a major push to make all new houses environmentally sustainable, but the city council admits that could mean the upfront cost of building a home in Warrnambool will rise.
The move - which is backed by 30 other Victorian councils - aims to bring long-term savings for the hip pocket as well as helping to combat climate change.
The councils are lobbying the state government to make planning amendments which will guide how people build new houses.
The project - to elevate environmental sustainable development targets in planning policy - might mean new regulations around solar, gas use, water management and other measures such as including electric vehicles charging stations.
Warrnambool is the only council in the south-west to join the lobbying effort to get the state government to make amendments to the planning scheme, something that didn't go unnoticed by one councillor who took a swipe at neighbouring municipal colleagues.
Cr Richard Ziegeler said the amendments would benefit the entire region and joining the effort showed Warrnambool was a leader.
"It's possibly disappointing that Warrnambool is the only south-west council participating in it," he said.
Cr Angie Paspaliaris said less than half of Victoria's councils were involved and she was disappointed more were not onboard.
"We want to ensure sustainable development. It's obviously happening at such a rate and we want to make sure there aren't any severe or serious repercussions down the track," she said.
Cr Paspaliaris said the changes would ensure new builds, as well as big additions and renovations, were planned and designed in a way that would help alleviate some of the demands on the natural environment, climate and resources.
Cr Ben Blain said current land developments including housing, industrial and commercial developments would impact on the city's sustainability for years to come.
"With the future uses of power, water and all our other natural resources, if we want to move towards a city that'll be net zero by 2040, these amendments to the planning scheme would be crucial," Cr Blain said.
"Hopefully it will be an important step towards moving to a cleaner, greener future."
Cr Max Taylor said by joining the project, the council saved about $540,000 in its own costs.
CEO Peter Schneider said the proposed changes to planning and design guidelines could possibly make new houses a little bit more expensive to start with, but that depended on how the builders got onboard.
"In terms of sustainability in the long term...it might be a little bit more money up-front in capital but in terms of their heating costs and their cooling costs and those sorts of things, there'll be money savings in the future," he said.
"It's one of those climate change mitigation projects, as well as having savings for people in the long run.
"It could be some up-front costs in doing that but overall you'd expect that to be a lot cheaper."
The council has already unveiled its plans to make the new East of Aberline Road housing development include a number of sustainability initiatives. When it was announced last year, it was touted as a gas-free, zero-net carbon housing development with compulsory solar installations - something that would add $3500 to the cost of a new home.
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