Residential building energy efficiency
A measure of the NSEE is to seek to increase the energy efficiency of new and existing homes.
Key objectives of this NSEE measure are to:
- increase energy efficiency provisions for all new residential buildings in the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and broaden the provisions to cover other parameters such as water efficiency and lighting
- phase in mandatory disclosure of residential building energy, greenhouse and water performance at the time of sale or lease
- reduce utility bills – all home owners and tenants can manage and reduce energy costs
- reduce peak demand (compared to business as usual) over the long term, to reduce the cost to provide electricity and the need to invest in energy infrastructure.
The Public Utilities Office provides information on passive solar home design for WA’s climate. Energy efficient houses reduce energy bills and carbon emissions while increasing comfort and property value.
The Public Utilities Office has strategic partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders throughout the residential building sector. Our consultation on energy efficiency standards, mandatory disclosure and NatHERS helps us understand the implications of energy policy decisions on the sector and the public.
National Home Energy Rating Scheme
The National Home Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) provides a framework for professionals to use various computer software tools to rate the thermal energy efficiency of Australian homes from zero to 10 stars. This includes:
- ensuring NatHERS is an effective system for measuring the relative thermal performance of residential buildings
- setting minimum professional standards for organisations that provide accreditation to WA assessors.
Assessing a home’s thermal performance at the design stage improves design quality in simple, economical ways – to achieve building approvals, improve comfort and save energy.
Q&As for NatHERS assessors
The Public Utilities Office, together with the WA NatHERS Technical Advisory Committee, released Q&As for NatHERS assessors on 13 February 2012. These took effect on 20 February 2012.
The Q&As provide guidance to NatHERS assessors on data entry methodology. The guidance was developed to resolve issues relating to data entry methodology that could impact on consistent ratings by WA accredited assessors.
The ABSA Assessor Procedures Building Thermal Performance (Residential) – 2007 document and Q&As are available for use by WA assessors until 1 May 2013.
The Perth Climate Zone and South West Climate Zone maps are now available:
6 star energy efficiency standards
The 6 star minimum energy efficiency standards in the BCA took effect in WA from 1 May 2011. A 12-month transition period allows consumers and the building industry to adjust to the new standards. From 1 May 2012, all new homes will have to meet at least 6 stars energy efficiency. The 6 star BCA energy measures are based upon the NatHERS scheme, administered by the Public Utilities Office. A transition period until 1 May 2013 has been provided for alterations, renovations and additions to existing homes to meet the 6 stars energy efficiency requirements.