Homeowners and builders: Are you building or renovating a home?

National construction code requirements

Building, buying or renovating a house is an important decision. There are many factors to consider such as, budget, location and functionality. But did you know that if you are building a new home or undertaking major renovations, you will likely need to meet minimum state and territory building energy efficiency requirements based on the National Construction Code

The most common way to meet these requirements is by getting a home energy rating done using the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS). A NatHERS Accredited Assessor can conduct your home energy rating and also provide you with advice about how best to design and use your home to reduce its heating and cooling needs. Good design can save you money on your energy bills, while also improving the thermal comfort and resale value of your home.

For more information check the 'Are you building or renovating your home?' fact sheet (PDF 195KB).

foreman shows plans to couple

Shutterstock.com

About Star Ratings

NatHERS star ratings estimate the thermal comfort of your home on a scale of between zero to ten stars. For more information on how the star ratings are calculated, what is rated and what the stars mean see our Star rating scale page.

Getting your new home or renovation assessed for energy efficiency

It is recommended that you use a NatHERS Accredited Assessor to conduct your house energy rating. Accreditation ensures they have completed the relevant training to provide a reliable energy rating for your home.

To find a NatHERS Accredited Assessor, you, your builder or architect can contact one of the two Assessor Accrediting Organisations (AAOs):

ABSA logoBDAV logo

Your NatHERS Accredited Assessor will review your house plans and use NatHERS Accredited Software to model and estimate the ability of your home to remain at a comfortable temperature year-round and the amount of heating or cooling likely to be needed over an average year.

When they have completed your assessment, the assessor will issue a NatHERS Universal Certificate. The certificate will display a star rating between zero and 10 stars, as well as other key energy rating assessment data and modelling outcomes. The Universal Certificate can be used as evidence to satisfy state and territory energy efficiency regulations. You should check specific state and territory building regulations to ensure all specific requirements are met.

Improving the energy efficiency of your home

Regardless of whether it’s a new build or renovation or whether you just want to make some minor adjustments, everyone can improve the energy efficiency of their home. The Your Home website is a free resource with a large amount of information on residential energy efficiency. You can also order the content of the Your Home website in book form.

If you are designing a new home, the Design For Place 7 Star house design project offers free-to-download energy-efficient house designs showcasing the use of sustainable design principles and construction techniques for a range of climate zones across Australia.

house wrapped in scarf

Shutterstock.com

Australian Climate Zones

Location has a significant effect on how to best design your home to be energy efficient. Australia has diverse climates, from the hot tropical North, to the much cooler, temperate regions of Tasmania. Energy efficient design needs to respond to these climatic differences. The NatHERS software takes this into account when calculating your energy rating to ensure when comparing across different climate zones, an equitable star rating value is generated. See NatHERS climate zones to view a map of the different zones.