Issue 11 - December 2020

NatHERS Year in Review

As 2020 draws to a close, we recognise businesses and communities across Australia continue to be severely impacted by the pandemic.

While this year has been anything but ordinary, the NatHERS team has been grateful for the opportunity to continue working closely with many of you across our sector. Various activities mentioned in this newsletter could not have been achieved without your involvement, patience with new ways of working, and continued support, so we thank you!

This year, we have remained focused on introducing a range of new processes and software updates to ensure we are building sustainable, energy efficient housing across Australia.
In April, a new NatHERS certificate was introduced and in May updated mandatory NCC provisions came into effect, the same month that the new HERO software tool was introduced.

A NatHERS expansion was announced with future certificates now set to include information on the ‘Whole-of-Home’ energy performance, including heating and cooling appliances, hot water, lighting, pool/spa pumps and on-site energy generation and storage.

In August, new free, energy-efficient home designs were added to Design For Place. These architect- designed house plans incorporate important energy efficient design principles including climate appropriate orientation, shading and thermal mass.

In September, there was more exciting NatHERS news with the announcement that the scheme was being extended to offer nationally accredited existing home energy assessments and ratings. The draft version of the requirements are on track to be finalised mid-next year.

In this edition

We get up to speed with all the latest NatHERS news including annual certification stats and plans to release a software development Expression of Interest (EOI). We also highlight some industry events planned for early 2021.

You can read about the upcoming launch of the new edition of Your Home and the success of the first virtual Sustainable House Day (SHD) held in September. You can also tune into recordings of our popular webinars  NatHERS Myth-busting  and Design For Place which featured in the SHD extension sessions.
We hope you enjoy catching up on all the latest from the team, and we look forward to working with you again next year.

Have a happy, healthy and safe Festive Season!

The NatHERS Team

NatHERS and Your Home figures hold steady

Despite the COVID pandemic NatHERS certificate current figures for new dwellings (Dec 19-Oct 20) have increased with a total of 151,831 houses and apartments certified compared with 129,892 for the same period last year.

NatHERS remains the most popular pathway to meet the NCC energy efficiency requirements with a long-term average of 85 percent of all Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) building approvals. An overwhelming majority of certificates (93 percent) were undertaken by accredited assessors. Fifty five percent of dwellings rated between 6-6.9 stars, 15 percent rated between 7-7.9 stars and 5 percent rated at a fantastic 8 or more stars!

You can visit the Australian Housing Data portal to learn more and see state-by-state and local breakdowns.

Both the NatHERS and Your Home websites continued to perform well this year. Your Home – which remains the most popular specialist website for the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, received over 2 million views up to November. The NatHERS website had more than 188,000 page views in the same time frame. 

New training videos online

To help support industry as it deals with the many challenges presented by COVID-19, the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources has been collating a range of training initiatives into its online energy efficiency training portal. There are links to various state and territory programs, accredited training, workshops, videos and on-the-job learning funded and provided by different governments, professional and industry associations.

Recently a series of six new informative videos have been added to the  training portal. The videos guide professional builders through step-by-step demonstrations of the best materials and techniques for wrapping and sealing a building.

Sustainable House Day success!

With COVID restrictions remaining in place in many states during September, for the first time Sustainable House Day moved online this year. The unique peer-to-peer education day proved as popular as ever with thousands of people joining from all across Australia; from islands off West Arnhem Land, to tiny towns in WA, and apartments in Sydney and Melbourne. There were also international guests tuning in from New Zealand, The Netherlands, Japan, and America.

If you missed the event, you can listen-in to both the  NatHERS Myth-busting and the Design For Place webinars hosted by our experts dedicated to sharing ideas on, and insights into sustainable living.

NatHERS Whole-of-Home EOI

An Expression of Interest (EOI) for the development of NatHERS Whole-of-Home (WoH) software will be released in early 2021.
An EOI pack will provide updates on the future accreditation process, as well as a raft of information to support software development, ensuring all potential tool providers have equal access to all relevant information.

The draft pack will include calculation methodologies, high level Software Accreditation Protocol (SAP) and a sample WoH certificate. Sample hourly output data and house designs, as well as information on how to request access to the beta version of the CSIRO WoH Benchmark Tool will also be included.

Keep an eye out for the EOI in early 2021 on the NatHERS website. If you have any questions in the meantime please email us.

New look 'Your Home' edition coming soon

The 6th edition of the ever popular Your Home resource is close to its final stage of production. Over 70 chapters have been revamped and peer reviewed. There are several new sections covering condensation, bushfire protection, and food and organic waste, plus over 150 new images and 50 new technical diagrams! Nine new case studies have also been developed demonstrating the principles and features of healthy, energy-efficient homes in action.

Keep an eye on our social media channels and the Your Home updates page for details on how you can pre-order your new look edition next year!

Save the Date

  • EOI Whole-of-Home software development – early 2021
  • Stakeholder Reference Group (SRG) –25 February 2021 (TBC)
  • Stakeholder Consultative Group (SCG) – 22 March 2021