Home Energy Efficiency Certifications Followed in Australia
In an era of eco-friendly energy, our country has understood that the environment is affected by the construction of every other building, whether it is commercial or residential. In fact, it has been estimated that the majority of our buildings and energy we consume is directly or indirectly responsible for a high percentage of carbon emissions. The workaround to this situation is by comprehending how much energy is being utilised by buildings and what is the best possible mechanism to make it more efficient moving forward.
In recent years, we have seen a growing awareness for people residing in a more efficient future. This thing started with homes, and now we see environmentally friendly organisations. How incredible is that? Due to this very reason, we see different types of ratings and assessment systems to ensure energy efficiency like BASIX Report. The simple rule of the thumb is to get maximum output within our homes using minimal to no wasted energy.
Here are some of the energy efficiency certifications that are followed in Australia to make houses comfortable with minimal energy.
So, let’s get started.
Building Sustainability Index (BASIX)
The NSW Government has put in a mandate to follow the Building Sustainable Index (BASIX) to measure all development planning on a national level. It is imperative for every new and existing home going through renovations or additions to get a BASIX Certificate.
The fantastic part is, literary anyone can register and employ this web-based tool with the help of development information like building size, location, design, and materials. After insertion of these details, BASIX will scrutinise the data and provide a score on the basis of water & energy consumption. Not to forget, the thermal comfort of the household. Take a look at the NSW Guide to Standards and Tolerances here.
NatHERS (Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme)
This certification carries out a star rating system which is evaluated out of ten. It assesses your home’s energy efficiency on the basis of its design. The Department of the Environment and Energy runs the rating system. It considers the thermal performance of home design on behalf of Australian states and territories.
The NatHERS rating system is based on three factors:
- The overall design of the house;
- Construction materials employed;
- The climate of the surrounding.
It is utilised as a preventative tool that ensures the buildings are constructed to reduce the dependency of the occupants on cooling and artificial heating. With the help of the rating system, it is even possible to ascertain the thermal performance of an existing building. This way, it provides energy-efficient solutions with no apparent additional construction costs.
NatHERS ratings are carried out by professionals only since the measuring software is custom-built. This rating can be used by builders, homeowners, certifiers, and in some instances, even local, state, or national governments to advise and meet the mandatory requirements of the area.
NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System)
This certification was built with the major objective of evaluating the environmental impact on both commercial and residential buildings in Australia. Its evaluation is carried out on the basis of waste and other environmental factors. In the end, the ratings are done out of six. NSW Office of Environment and Heritage manages NABERS nationally.
As opposed to NatHERS, this tool assists in doing a comparative analysis of utility bills and waste consumption data to the prevailing benchmarks.
It evaluates your building in the following areas:
- Energy efficiency with and without Greenpower
- Indoor environment quality
- Waste management
- Water usage
It even takes into account the climate, size and services provided by the building. However, you cannot employ it as a predictive tool as the system needs at least 12 months of the timeline. During this period, it calculates the building’s energy rating based on the energy and water bills collected.
Green Star Rating System
This certification is mainly targeted to the existing or new construction on top of the communities looking for Green Star Certification. Its main purpose is to build an environmentally sustainable future. Here are the factors on the basis of which the assessments are done, and ratings are allotted.
- Air quality
- Energy and water efficiency
- Land use
- Materials of the design
The ultimate objective is to employ fewer resources and make the most of the existing ones in an efficient manner. Thanks to this certification, it has become possible all across Australia to ensure sustainable building development.
Energy Efficiency Certification Scheme (EECS)
This certification is quite distinct from the ones that are already on this list. It certifies professionals to carry out the energy assessment process. The ultimate goal is to work with planners and clients and search for energy-efficient solutions and find out any loopholes.
There are two levels of certification that industry professionals have to go through on the basis of experience and knowledge - Certified Efficient Specialist (CEES) and Certified Energy Efficient Leader (CEEL).
CEES leads the Integrated Building Energy Retrofits and work as a part of the project team. Whereas, CEEL is much more practical, knowledgeable and experienced panel of people who participate and lead in complex Integrated Building Energy Retrofits. The Energy Efficiency Council, one of the top body for energy efficiency in Australia, administers this scheme.
These are the top five home energy efficiency certifications followed in Australia.