Articles in this issue


Welcome to the December 2016 NatHERS Star. The NatHERS Administrator has been hard at work since the last newsletter and we have a bumper issue to close out 2016.

Updated NatHERS Strategic Plan

There is now an update to the NatHERS Strategic Plan 2015-2018 available on the NatHERS website

NatHERS Governance Review Update

In 2016 the NatHERS Administrator engaged ACIL Allen Consulting to undertake an independent governance and operational review of NatHERS.

Invitation to Comment on the Software Accreditation Protocol Discussion Paper

A discussion paper has been developed to review opportunities to improve clarity and processes in the NatHERS Software Accreditation Protocol.

BERS Pro Accreditation Update

Having met all the outstanding requirements of software accreditation, BERS Pro is on track for full accreditation before the end of March 2017.

Quarterly stakeholder meetings

A recent initiative of the NatHERS Administrator has been to conduct quarterly stakeholder meetings with Assessor Accrediting Organisations (AAOs) and Software Providers.

NatHERS Technical Advisory Committee Update

To keep everyone better informed about the discussions of the NatHERS Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) we will be providing updates in this, and future, editions of the NatHERS Star.

NatHERS Trademarks

Over the past few years the NatHERS Administrator has undertaken a trademarking process to protect the NatHERS logo, name and acronym from misuse. 

Get to know: Chenath

Did you know the Chenath Engine has been around in different forms since the 1950s?

On the Horizon

2016 has been a busy year for the NatHERS Administrator and 2017 looks set to follow suit.

BDAV Design Contest

The Building Designers Association of Victoria (BDAV) has revamped its 10-Star Sustainable Design Challenge.

New energy-saving guide for Northern Australia

Recently the team behind the Your Energy Savings website released the Energy-saving guide for Northern Australia

CRC LCL – Next Generation Rating Tools

The CRC for Low Carbon Living, in association with project partners CSIRO, Energy Inspection, and the University of South Australia, launched the RP1024 NextGen Rating Tools project in Adelaide on 29 September 2016. 

On the Horizon

2016 has been a busy year for the NatHERS Administrator and 2017 looks set to follow suit. Here are just a few key activities coming up:
Communications and engagement
For the first half of 2017 we are planning a number of communications activities, including some new fact sheets, an updated assessor guidance document, another exciting instalment of the NatHERS Star and the 2017 Stakeholder Update. The Stakeholder Update will be a one day face-to-face forum and is scheduled for May, with more information available closer to the date. A TAC meeting is scheduled for February and quarterly stakeholder meetings will take place in March. Refer to the NatHERS Service Charter, which details all the stakeholder engagement activities we have planned.
Scheme improvement
There are a range of scheme improvement activities that will take place early next year, including reviews of both the Certificate IV in NatHERS Assessment and the NatHERS Universal Certificate, progressing activities from the default and custom windows workshop and streamlining data management and reporting for the Scheme.
Software Update
The next upgrade to Chenath is scheduled for 2019, which will align with the next update to the National Construction Code. Although 2019 seems like it is a long way away, work has already begun on readying for updates. Expected updates include new 2015 climate files, and a number of improvements to the way Chenath works.

Related initiatives

NEPP Measure 5 – Residential building energy ratings and disclosure
In the National Energy Productivity Plan (NEPP) Measure 5, the COAG Energy Council committed to consider by the end of 2016 options for implementing a national approach to residential building energy ratings and disclosure. A copy of the NEPP can be found on the Department of the Environment and Energy website.

During 2016 a range of activities were undertaken by various jurisidictions to progress this work, including an International Review of Residential Building Energy Efficiency Rating Schemes report. Part 1 of this review compares residential building energy efficiency rating schemes across a range of countries and Part 2 distils the most successful elements of the different schemes into underlying best practice principles for Australia.

The Energy Council agreed on Wednesday 14 December 2016 to a national collaborative approach to residential building energy ratings and disclosure. Principles have been established to guide jurisdictions working together as schemes are developed to allow home owners, buyers and tenants to understand, compare, value and act on the energy performance and comfort level of residential buildings. Download the Principles

NEPP Measure 31.2 - Advancing the NCC
The NatHERS Administrator is engaging with the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) initiative to progress National Construction Code (NCC) 2019 changes to energy efficiency provisions. This includes potentially transferring the existing NatHERS 6-star provisions from the current deemed-to-satisfy provisions to a verification method, and investigating the splitting of the overall energy use requirement into maximum heating and cooling loads. These changes aim to facilitate greater compliance with current NCC requirements, in preparation for reviewing stringency (possibly in NCC 2022).
Under NEPP Measure 31.2, COAG Energy Council officials are also considering opportunities to increase minimum requirements in NCC 2019 and beyond, noting the potential costs and benefits of any change will need to be assessed. An initial scoping study can be found on the NatHERS website.
NEPP Measure 32 – Improving compliance with the NCC
Phases one and two of the National Energy Efficient Buildings Project (NEEBP) found it is broadly reported by industry representatives across all sectors, that there is an issue with building compliance of energy efficiency regulation. However quantifiable evidence is limited.
In response, NEEBP Phase 3 (now NEPP Measure 32) is seeking to improve training and accountability within the building industry. Work has commenced to develop energy efficiency compliance specific training modules, with training and building industry workshops being undertaken in November 2016. Work is also commencing on potentially supporting the development of tool/s that better assist industry to achieve compliance.