National Housing Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS)

Energy ratings on homes have become increasingly important to buyers and the government is now introducing a National Housing Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS), to be introduced in mid 2011.

The government is currently in the process of providing accreditation to appropriate people in the industry and educating people on the rating system itself.

According to the NatHERS website, “house energy rating through the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) uses computer simulations to assess the potential thermal comfort of Australian homes on a scale of zero to 10 stars. The more stars, the less likely the occupants need cooling or heating to stay comfortable.”

By taking into consideration the layout, construction and orientation of the house, and other definitive criteria, the software calculates the suitability of the house to its surrounding climate. Energy efficiency of appliances and fittings of the home aren’t taken into consideration for the National Housing Energy Rating, as they’re not generally fixed for the life of the building.

Comfort is the goal for homeowners and purchasers, with the start rating measuring the suitability of the home to it’s climate. If the building’s shell does virtually nothing to reduce the discomfort of hot or cold weather, it will receive a zero star rating. The website outlines that a “5 star rating indicates good, but not outstanding, thermal performance (and) occupants of a 10 star home are unlikely to need any artificial cooling or heating.”

For some examples on high rating homes, visit www.yourhome.gov.au.

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