The NCC 2022 energy efficiency changes are being adopted from 1 May 2023, with a transition period to 1 October 2023. This helpful table highlights when states and territories are transitioning to NCC 2022.
Changes include an increase to a 7-star minimum thermal rating and the inclusion of a new Whole of Home energy budget, including major fixed appliances and on-site energy generation and storage.
The changes require updates to all NatHERS tools which are currently progressing through the re-accreditation process.
However, if you're an assessor you don’t need to wait for tools to be accredited – you can be testing designs right now!
Get ready for NCC 2022 with these tools
AccuRate Home is fully accredited and can be used to produce ratings and certificates for all new dwellings including apartments, town houses and detached homes. It can be used for regulatory purposes for both thermal (building shell) and Whole of Home assessments.
The software has new features and data sets incorporating thermal bridging changes for steel-framed dwellings and updated heating and cooling load limits.
Currently, AccuRate Sustainability is still available for use with NCC 2019*.
FirstRate5 is now conditionally accredited and can be used for regulatory purposes for thermal (building shell) assessments. FirstRate5 is working on functionality to generate certificates, rating reports and stamps in the new format. It can’t currently be used to demonstrate compliance with Whole of Home requirements. Contact the FirstRate5 team for more information.
HERO and BERS Pro have beta versions for NatHERS thermal assessments so users can test the effects of the new climate files and updated starbands. Both software tools will be conditionally accredited for thermal assessments soon. Until this time, results from testing with beta tools will be indicative of actual ratings but cannot be used for regulatory purposes.
As an interim approach for beta tools that do not yet have the updated load limits, we recommend looking at the ABCB’s NatHERS Heating and Cooling Load Limits 2022.
For beta tools that do not include thermal bridging changes, see the Thermal Bridging Report page for the expected impacts on star ratings for homes in different locations.
Whole of Home assessments
AccuRate Home is fully accredited for Whole of Home assessments and can be used for regulatory purposes.
No commercial tools are currently accredited for Whole of Home regulatory assessments. In the meantime, you can use the benchmark tool (AccuRate Home) or one of the following tools for testing purposes.
- The ABCB’s NCC Whole of Home Calculator. A pass in the ABCB calculator is equivalent to a score of at least 60 for Class 1 buildings and 50 for Class 2 and Class 4 buildings in NatHERS Whole of Home tools. Note: This is not a compliance tool, nor a verification method. It is provided to aid practitioners in developing their understanding of the NCC requirements.
- Sustainability Victoria’s First Rate5 Whole of Home Pilot Tool includes all the key modules for a Whole of Home assessment. It calculates annual energy use, costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Note: For testing purposes only. Currently cannot be used for regulatory purposes.
As an interim approach, a combination of the tools for thermal assessments and Whole of Home calculators can be downloaded to test the new features and explore their effects on dwellings and their appliances.
Conducting a NatHERS assessment during transition to NCC 2022
Between 1 May 2023 and 30 September 2023
Between 1 May 2023 and 30 September 2023, assessors have the choice of which version of the NCC they wish to comply with (see Option 1 and 2 below). However, state and territory variations may apply where jurisdictions require assessors to use specific versions of the NCC. Assessors performing assessments to meet the NSW BASIX thermal performance standards must continue to use v3.21 software until 30 September 2023. If in doubt about which NCC version to use, check with your local building regulatory authority.
Option 1: Compliance with NCC 2019
If you choose to comply with NCC 2019, you must use:
- Accredited software based on Chenath Engine v3.21
- Thermal only NatHERS Certificates
- NatHERS Technical Note Version June 2019
- Heating and cooling load limits of ABCB Standard 2019.1
- Additional requirements for apartments detailed in clause J0.2 of the NCC 2019 Volume One
- Additional requirements for houses detailed in subclause 3.12.0(a)(i) of the NCC 2019 Volume Two.
Option 2: Compliance with NCC 2022
If you choose to comply with NCC 2022, you must use:
- Accredited software based on Chenath Engine v3.22, when it becomes available
- The new NatHERS Certificate featuring the Whole of Home rating
- NatHERS Technical Note Version September 2022
- Heating and cooling load limits of ABCB Standard 2022.1
- Additional thermal and Whole of Home requirements for apartments detailed in Section J2D2 of NCC 2022 Volume One
- Additional thermal requirements and Whole of Home requirements for houses detailed in Specification 42 of the NCC 2022 Volume Two
From 1 October 2023 onwards
From 1 October 2023 Chenath v3.21 software versions must not be used for demonstrating compliance to the NCC NatHERS pathway, unless a written request from the relevant regulatory authority has been obtained. Only accredited software based on Chenath Engine v3.22 is allowed.
By 1 October 2023, and as early as 1 May 2023, as software tools become accredited, regulatory authorities will be able to identify compliant NatHERS Software by the use of the new NatHERS Certificate featuring the Whole of Home rating sections.