The Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) provides homes with a star rating out of ten based on an estimate of a home’s potential (heating and cooling) energy use. By providing a ‘measuring tape’ for energy efficiency, NatHERS helps to make Australian homes more comfortable for their inhabitants and help residents to save on energy bills through smarter design choices. Often good design can reduce the amount of energy needed to keep a home comfortable with no or little additional construction cost.
NatHERS is administered by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources on behalf of the states and territories. For more information on how NatHERS is run, see the Governance page.
NatHERS star ratings
NatHERS star ratings provide information about the thermal performance (heating and cooling needs) of a home’s construction. Star ratings are based on information about the home’s design, construction materials and the climate where it is being built.
The energy efficiency of appliances (such as air conditioners) are covered under the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (GEMS) and not measured as part of the NatHERS star rating. However, work is now underway to expand NatHERS to assess and rate the energy performance of the whole home.
NatHERS Star Ratings are conducted by professionals using purpose-built software . Star ratings can be used by homeowners, builders, certifiers, councils and local, state and national governments for a number of purposes, including:
To meet the mandatory energy efficiency requirements for homes and major renovations based on the National Construction Code
To advise home owners, architects and builders on the energy efficiency of various house designs
To advise prospective home buyers on the thermal performance of a home they are interested in buying
For further details on NatHERS star ratings see How NatHERS Star Ratings are calculated.
For information on getting a NatHERS star rating, see the Owners and builders 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 increasing 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.