Homeowners and builders: Are you building or renovating a home?
If you are building a new home or undertaking a major renovation, a NatHERS Design rating assessment can help you to get the most energy efficient design for your home. This can make your home more comfortable and save you money on your energy bills.
National Construction Code requirements
Building, buying or renovating a house is an important decision. There are many factors to consider such as, budget, location and functionality. But did you know that if you are building a new home or undertaking major renovations, you will likely need to meet minimum state and territory building energy efficiency requirements based on the National Construction Code.
The most common way to meet these requirements is by getting a home energy rating done using the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS). A NatHERS Accredited Assessor can conduct your home energy rating and also provide you with advice about how best to design and use your home to reduce its heating and cooling needs. Good design can save you money on your energy bills, while also improving the thermal comfort and resale value of your home.
NatHERS Existing Homes assessments
People who want a better understanding of their home’s energy performance can now request a voluntary NatHERS Existing Home endorsed assessment. This extension of NatHERS enables a home to be assessed without the need for house plans and building specifications. NatHERS Existing Home endorsed assessments also provide advice for home owners on energy efficiency improvements that could be made to their home.
The transition of NatHERS to offer fully accredited NatHERS Existing Home assessments is expected to be available from early 2025.
Find out more about NatHERS Existing Home assessments.
NatHERS star ratings provide information about the thermal performance (heating and cooling needs) of a home. A star rating is out of 10 and considers a home’s design, orientation, construction materials, as well as the local climate.
The energy performance of appliances (e.g., heating and cooling systems) are not measured in a star rating but are included in the new NatHERS Whole of Home rating (out of 100).
Learn more about buying energy efficient appliances.
Why do I need an assessment?
Ratings can be used by homeowners, builders, certifiers, councils and local, state and national governments for a number of
meeting mandatory energy efficiency requirements based
on the National Construction Code
advising homeowners, architects and builders on the
energy efficiency of various house designs/appliances
advising prospective home buyers on the thermal
performance of a home they are interested in purchasing.
Getting an assessment
Using a NatHERS Accredited Assessor ensures you will get a reliable energy rating for your home. NatHERS assessors must complete dedicated training and comply with professional quality assurance and a code of conduct.
To find a NatHERS Accredited Assessor, you, your builder or architect can contact one of the three Assessor Accrediting Organisations (AAOs):
Your assessor will review your house plans and use special software to model and estimate a 'star rating' (out of 10) and a 'Whole of Home' rating (out of 100). Together these ratings will tell you how energy efficient your home is and predict what is known as an annual energy use budget.
The assessor will then issue a NatHERS Certificate displaying both the 'star rating' and the 'Whole of Home' rating. This certificate can be used to satisfy energy efficiency regulations. Remember to always check specific state and territory building requirements.
Improving the energy efficiency of your home
Regardless of whether it’s a new build or renovation or whether you just want to make some minor adjustments, everyone can improve the energy efficiency of their home. The Your Home website is a free resource with a large amount of information on residential energy efficiency. You can also order the content of the Your Home website in book form.
If you are designing a new home, the Design For Place 7 Star house design project offers free-to-download energy-efficient house designs. These ready-to-use house plans showcase sustainable design principles and construction techniques for a range of climate zones across Australia.
Australian Climate Zones
Location has a significant effect on how to best design your home to be energy efficient. Australia has diverse climates, from the hot tropical North, to the much cooler, temperate regions of Tasmania. Energy efficient design needs to respond to these climatic differences. The NatHERS software takes this into account when calculating your energy rating to ensure when comparing across different climate zones, an equitable star rating value is generated. See NatHERS climate zones to view a map of the different zones.