NOTE: We are no longer offering 6 star energy ratings for new homes due to those businesses offering ratings for under $100 and devaluing the energy rating as a professional service. It's simply not worth the time and effort for little benefit.
We still conduct "estimated" energy ratings as part of our energy audits and retrofit services.
With an ever increasing awareness about climate change and the damaging effects of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the increasing cost of electricity and gas, the demand for energy-efficient homes is getting greater.
All new homes in Victoria are required to include a greater range of energy efficiency and water saving features which improve occupant comfort and reduce energy bills. This also includes extensions and renovations, and houses being relocated.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is an Energy Rating?
An Energy Rating is a calculation of the heating and cooling loads required to maintain a comfortable living environment within a given building. Factors taken into consideration include insulation, glazing, construction type, building size, orientation, and climate zone.
Why do I need an energy rating for my house?
All new homes, additions and alterations in Victoria are required to have a 6 star energy rating. You will be required to submit an Energy Rating Report prepared by an Accredited Assessor in order to obtain a building permit.
At what stage is it best to get an energy rating?
The best time is when the building plans are close to being finalised. If the design is likely to experience difficulty in achieving a 6-Star rating or you would like to obtain a higher star rating then contact us earlier in the design phase to conduct a preliminary assessment.
How long will it take?
Normally you should allow 2-3 days for single homes, slightly longer for double storeys. If the plans are more complex than usual it can take longer. If we don't receive all the required information this will delay your energy rating and potentially increase the cost for additional time.
What do the stars mean?
Zero stars means the building shell does practically nothing to keep out heat in summer and retain heat in winter. 6 stars indicates a good level of thermal performance, and reduced energy bills. 10 stars is the maximum, and means no artificial cooling or heating will be required to maintain a comfortable living environment year round.
Do I need an energy rating for a renovation or extension?
Any extension or alteration requiring a building permit also requires an energy rating. In Victoria, if the renovation represents less than 50% of the original volume of the building, then only the new section will need to be rated 6 stars; more than 50% and the entire building will require a 6 star energy rating.
What information do I need to provide?
A complete set of plans in PDF format or hard copy (Scale 100:1 preferred), including:
Site plan, floor plans, elevations, sections, and a window schedule (new & existing).
Ceiling exhaust fans, downlights, and ceiling fans must also be listed or shown on plan.
What if my house doesn't rate 6 stars?
If your design doesn't initially reach the 6 star standard we will suggest some straightforward changes. Normally, we can provide a variety of alternatives which will help you achieve 6 stars or higher.
Will it cost more to build to 6 Star?
If the building has good design and orientation for its specific location, increased costs to reach 6 stars should be minimal. There has been much mis-information in the media regarding higher costs to achieve 6 stars - this doesn't have to be the case. The CSIRO manipulated a house plan from a very well known volume builder and achieved higher than 8 stars for only an additional $8000. Not a lot when the comfort and energy savings will more than compensate.
What if the design options to reach 6 Star are technically difficult or cost prohibitive?
Building surveyors can use their discretion to allow partial compliance if it is considered that reaching 6 Star would cause 'excessive hardship' (compared to the resulting benefit) or be technically not possible. E.g. An exemption may be granted if insulation were required within existing double brick walls in order to achieve 6 stars.
Do I need to install a solar hot water system or rainwater tank?
Only if it is a new house (renovations and extensions are exempt). You will need to choose either a rainwater tank for toilet flushing or a solar hot water system. Details must be supplied when applying for the building permit.