Issue 9 - December 2019

2019 in review

It has been a busy and productive year for the NatHERS Administrator with a large work program delivering policy and program outcomes, including: 

•    publication of the first NatHERS Assessor Handbook 

•    publication of an updated NatHERS Technical Note 

•    delivery of biennial stakeholder workshop

•    supporting the delivery of CSIRO’s Australian Housing Data Portal

•    new Software Accreditation Protocol

•    roll out of Chenath software update (3.21)

•    granting interim accreditation to a new Assessor Accreditation Organisation

•    addition of another 5000 windows to the custom window library

•    partnership with Renew to promote NatHERS as a design tool at Sustainable House Day.

Expansion of NatHERS to cover total home energy use

Currently NatHERS rates only the energy efficiency of the building envelope and does not include appliances used within the home. Work is currently underway to expand NatHERS to include “whole-of-home” rating tools that account for the total building energy use.

This will involve modelling the energy use of space heating and cooling, hot water, cooking and plug loads, lighting, pools, as well as on-site energy generation and storage.

The aim is to provide tools to support regulation and design purposes, and to improve consistency between tools and in communications with consumers, industry, and finance sectors.

The framework builds on methodologies already in use in NatHERS and in other whole-of-home tools, and has been developed in close consultation with government, software tool developers and industry stakeholders.

Further consultation is scheduled to occur in April 2020 via the NatHERS Technical Advisory Committee and Stakeholder Consultative Group.

Seeking industry experts to join NatHERS technical and stakeholder groups

The NatHERS Administrator is looking for individuals and organisations with expertise in home energy efficiency to join the following groups: 

•    Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) – focussing on software tools

•    Stakeholder Consultative Group (SCG) – focussing on strategic direction

NatHERS is being expanded to include “whole-of-home” rating tools that account for the total building energy use. To support this transition, the NatHERS Administrator is now seeking to engage individuals and organisations with expertise in the energy efficiency of fixed appliances and on-site energy generation and storage in both groups.

The NatHERS Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) provides expert advice to the Administrator on technical matters relating to NatHERS software tools and the operation of the Scheme. The TAC will consist of industry representatives and technical experts working in: 

•    NatHERS software tools

•    NatHERS assessor operations and processes

•    building physics

•    glazing

•    fixed appliances (space heating and cooling, hot water, solar PV, lighting, pool heating and pumps)

•    on-site energy generation and storage.

 The NatHERS Stakeholder Consultative Group (SCG) provides stakeholder and industry feedback to the NatHERS Administrator on the development, implementation and continuous improvement of the Scheme, including the development and implementation of the NatHERS Strategic Plan. The SCG will consist of representatives from building, appliance and solar industries, Assessor Accrediting Organisations, software tool developers and other stakeholders.

The current TAC and SCG are coming to the end of their two year terms and invitations are now open to individuals and organisation to submit an Expression of Interest for membership commencing in early 2020. Current TAC and SCG members are encouraged to apply.
 
Applications for both Expressions of Interest are due by Friday 31 January 2020. Find out how to apply for the: 

•    NatHERS Technical Advisory Committee

•    NatHERS Stakeholder Consultative Group

For more information, or to discuss which group best suits your interests, please contact the NatHERS Administrator.

New NatHERS certificate to be rolled out by 30 April 2020

A new NatHERS certificate will soon come into use as software tools transition to Chenath Engine version 3.21. The new certificate incorporates verification measures to build trust in the Scheme and reduce non-compliance.

Improvements include:

•    easy to read format

•    unique identifiable watermark for each certificate

•    check list for certifiers

•    glossary of technical terms

•    addition of key information such as National Construction Code (NCC) requirements

•    smaller file size for ease of use and storage

•    smaller printable area for reduced printing costs.

 
The new NatHERS certificate has been developed after significant consultation with industry users and will replace the previous “universal certificate” for all new assessments from 1 May 2020. Preview the new NatHERS Certificate.

NatHERS Handbook a key resource for assessors

The NatHERS Assessor Handbook is now available.

The Handbook guides assessors through the NatHERS assessment process, describing how assessments should be conducted, including mandatory and recommended steps.

The Handbook is a practical resource for anyone working with NatHERS energy rating tools, and is to be used in conjunction with the NatHERS Technical Note.

It has been developed in consultation with industry to support the training needs of assessors and to improve the overall quality of ratings conducted using NatHERS software.

Download the NatHERS Assessor Handbook

Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings – Existing Buildings

Earlier this year a national plan for zero energy (and carbon) ready buildings was agreed to by Energy Ministers - the Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings. In November, a suite of initiatives was agreed upon that focuses on the energy efficiency of existing buildings. The Addendum to the Trajectory includes measures such as: 

•    information, training and energy rating tools to help households better understand energy efficiency options and applications

•    building policies such as disclosure of energy performance; minimum energy efficiency standards for rental properties, renovations and refurbishments

•    targeted supporting measures for strata titled buildings, financial initiatives, appliances, vulnerable households, and a national dataset.

The Trajectory and the Trajectory Addendum were developed closely with stakeholders to identify policies to deliver cost effective energy efficiency improvements to homes that lower energy bills, improve comfort, reduce pressure on the electricity grid and reduce emissions.

Find out more about the Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings.