NatHERS News

Thursday, September 8, 2022

NCC 2022 energy efficiency preview available 

Updates to the National Construction Code (NCC) minimum energy efficiency requirements will not only make homes more comfortable and resilient, they are also set to help new homeowners save an average of $183 on their annual power bills.

The measures are also ensuring more energy efficient homes for the future.

On 26 August 2022, Building Ministers from across Australia agreed to the new NCC provisions. The changes will increase the energy efficiency and electric-vehicle readiness of new dwellings, while also making homes more accessible for people with mobility challenges.
The updates will increase the minimum level of thermal performance from 6 to the equivalent of 7 stars under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS).

In addition, the changes introduce a new a whole-of-home annual energy use budget. This includes the home’s heating and cooling equipment, hot water systems, lighting, swimming pool and spa pumps, and onsite renewable energy systems (such as rooftop photovoltaics - PV).
NatHERS software is being upgraded to support the new NCC. This will help consumers make better decisions about the energy efficiency of their home and appliances, and design low energy use homes – supporting Australia’s move to net zero emissions by 2050.

The Decision Regulation Impact Statement (DRIS) for the NCC changes, available from the Australian Building Construction Board, estimates:

  • House energy bill savings across jurisdictions of an average $183 annually
  • Greenhouse gas abatement of 4.3Mt Carbon Dioxide Equivalent from 2022-2030
  • A household level benefit-to-cost ratio of 1.37 (after accounting for increased construction costs).

Energy efficiency changes to the NCC are voluntary from 1 October 2022, with a transition period until 1 October 2023 (but may vary by state and territory).

Technical documents available

A range of technical and guidance documents are now available on the NatHERS website to support the NCC 2022 changes:

Two additional documents are being finalised and will be made available as soon as possible:

Getting ready for NCC 2022

New NatHERS tools are being developed to support the NCC changes agreed by Building Ministers on 26 August. Assessors will have access to support and training during the 12 month transition.

A range of updates including new climate files, thermal bridging and Whole of Home modules have been included. An updated version of the NatHERS benchmark software (AccuRate Home) will be available from early September, with more tools expected to be accredited in the coming months.
 
Newsletter subscribers will receive notifications as new tools are accredited.

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