What is NatHERS?
The Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) measures a home’s energy efficiency to generate a star rating. It was first introduced in 1993.
The higher the star rating, the less energy needed to heat and cool the home to keep it comfortable.
NatHERS Assessors currently use the house plans and building specifications of a home to input data into a NatHERS accredited software tool. NatHERS tools estimate the amount of heat that needs to be added or removed to keep that home comfortable. The NatHERS tools then generate a NatHERS star rating out of 10 and a Certificate. This star rating measures the home’s thermal performance, based on its structure, design and materials.
NatHERS remains the most popular pathway to demonstrate compliance with the National Construction Code (NCC) energy efficiency requirements. Around 90 per cent of building approvals in 2020-2021 were assessed via the Scheme. A star rating of 6 or above is required in most parts of Australia for detached homes.
Soon NatHERS will offer Whole of Home energy assessments, which will include information about the energy performance of common household appliances, such as heating and cooling, hot water, lighting, pool/spa pumps and on-site energy generation and storage (e.g. solar panels and batteries). NatHERS will also offer In Home energy assessments which do not require house plans and building specifications.
NatHERS is administered by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources on behalf of the states and territories. For information about how NatHERS is managed see the Governance page.
Using less energy
Buildings with good insulation and solar passive design can reduce the occupant’s reliance on artificial heating and cooling. Heating and cooling is responsible for the majority of the average Australian household’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
NatHERS promotes the benefits of good design and increasing the thermal performance of homes, as this can often be achieved with no or little additional construction cost. Through its inclusion in the National Construction Code, NatHERS is used by state and territory governments to reduce the greenhouse gas impacts of residential buildings.
Which home energy rating is for you?
If you are building a new home or undertaking a major renovation and you want to make great design choices to improve energy efficiency and meet building code requirements, learn how to get a NatHERS Design rating.
If you want to find out about the energy performance of your existing home, and how you can improve efficiency, consider a NatHERS In Home rating.