NatHERS is transitioning to offer in home assessments of existing homes.
Home energy ratings for existing homes
Existing home owners across Australia now have an option to find out how energy efficient their home is. This new voluntary 'in home' assessment is extending the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS), as part of a joint initiative of the Commonwealth, state and territory governments.
The new voluntary energy assessment will help Australian householders better understand their home’s energy performance, identify cost-effective upgrades to improve the comfort of their home, and help to reduce their energy bills.
Assessments consider the comfort of the home in hot and cold weather extremes, and the energy used by major fixed appliances such as air conditioners, heaters and hot water systems.
National Scorecard Initiative
The new National Scorecard Initiative, which builds on the Victorian Government’s successful state-based Residential Efficiency Scorecard Program, will facilitate the nationally-consistent approach for assessing existing homes. It was piloted nationally in 2019 and further trialled in 2021, with support from all governments.
Currently endorsed by NatHERS, the National Scorecard Initiative is expected to be fully accredited and phased into NatHERS in 2022. Until this occurs, all elements of the National Scorecard Initiative, including the assessment tool, assessor training and assessor accreditation, will continue to be delivered by the Victorian Government on behalf of all Australian governments.
'NatHERS endorsed' means the tool, assessor training and assessor accreditation demonstrates alignment with what NatHERS In Home assessments will require in the future, although some amendments are expected as NatHERS requirements are agreed and finalised.
In Home Assessors
The new assessments create an opportunity for assessors to deliver voluntary ratings for existing homes under a government-endorsed initiative. This supports householders who want to better understand their home’s energy performance and make upgrades to their home.
Accredited and trained assessors visit a home to undertake an assessment, before providing a certificate with an energy rating and advice on what improvements can increase the energy performance of the home. The cost of an assessment typically ranges from $250 to $500.
The National Scorecard tool and assessor processes, designed to assess existing homes, will be added to the NatHERS suite. This is to facilitate the additional calculations and measures required for existing homes. Current NatHERS tools and assessor processes are primarily used to assess new homes based on plans and building specifications, which are often not available for existing homes.
The NatHERS Administrator will continue to work closely with the Victorian Government during the transition period. Any assessors accredited during the transition will be deemed accredited under NatHERS In Home.
In the future the Victorian Government will continue to deliver the National Scorecard assessment tool, while it is expected that Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and Assessor Accrediting Organisations (AAO’s) will absorb NatHERS In Home training and accreditation responsibilities. The details of when and how this will occur are still being finalised.
Please refer to the NatHERS In Home FAQs for more information.
Householders can learn more about the benefits and costs associated with an in home assessment at: http://vic.gov.au/energyscorecard.
In 2019 Energy Ministers agreed in the Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings that a home energy rating framework for existing homes should be delivered, which leverages the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) framework and accommodates rating tools.
A 2020 Scoping Report recommended NatHERS should extend to include home energy ratings for existing homes and leverage the National Scorecard Tool.
A successful national pilot study in 2019 and trial in 2021 of the National Residential Scorecard Tool, confirmed the National Scorecard Tool and associated assessor training and accreditation processes is operating effectively.