Energy ratings help households save on their energy bills and, in turn, reduces your carbon footprint which helps the environment, since the less energy consumed, the fewer fossil fuels have to be burnt to generate the power. This is why governments have provided a rating system called NatHERS. Legislation requires homes to meet a minimum 6 star energy rating for all new dwellings.
What is NatHERS and How Does it Work?
NatHERS is the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme administered by the Department of the Environment and Energy on behalf of the states and territories. It provides Australian homes with a star energy rating from zero stars to 10, and this is based on estimating your home’s potential energy use for heating and cooling. This is likened to an energy-efficiency measuring tape which, through smart design options, can help households save on their energy costs while making their homes more comfortable.
How is My Home Rated
With no additional construction cost (or very little) a home designed with energy efficiency in mind can reduce the amount of energy required for heating and cooling. A house or other building with a passive solar design isn’t likely to require an artificial cooling or heating system if it’s 10-star rated. Your home will usually be rated according to its layout, how well it functions in its environment; its orientation, and the materials used in its construction, for instance, walls, windows, and roofing. There are ways you can raise the star rating of your home so check out the following:
The Orientation of Your Home
If you’re building a new home or having major renovations done to an existing home, carefully consider its orientation and the buildings surrounding it so the designer/architect can make adjustments to take maximum advantage of the available sunlight. If this isn’t done, and your home is overshadowed by large trees or neighbouring buildings you will need to use more energy to heat and cool the home. In the design, it’s advisable that rooms people only use for short periods (bathroom, laundry etc.) should be located on the western or eastern side of the house, bedrooms on the south and living and dining spaces on the north side.
Double-glazed windows are recommended for high star-rated homes, and architects should use plenty of north-facing windows to take as much advantage as possible of available sunlight. This helps to keep the interior comfortably warm and reduce the need for artificial heating. At the same time, the east and west facing windows should not be too large, or the home will overheat in the morning, and the heat will dissipate in the evening. Also, use window shades to cool the house in summer.
Do You Really Need A Huge Home?
It’s far more difficult for a huge home to get a high star rating. It takes a lot more energy to heat and cool a large home, which means more appliances are needed for the comfort of its occupants. Also, the thermal performance of your home will depend on the insulation, so the bigger the home, the more quality insulation is needed. To achieve a 6-Star Rated home of any size the ceiling and walls need to be insulated with quality materials.
Seal Windows, Doors, Exhaust Fans, Vents
Sealing all areas such as doors, windows, vents, and exhaust fans can increase the total star rating of your home and ensure a better thermal performance since the heated or cooled air can’t escape from the gaps.
Buy High Star-Rated Appliances
The appliances such as the lighting, shower heads, heating and cooling systems, and hot water system installed in your home will have an impact on your consumption of water and energy. For this reason, it’s crucial that you buy appliances with high star rating of 6 or above, so you avoid wasting water and/or energy.
At Greenhive, we pride ourselves on our customer service because we don’t just churn out the energy rating report and send it off. Instead, we like to liaise with you to get you the desired outcome and explain all the issues in plain English. By advising you on the options available for improvement, we seek to provide the best possible outcome. Too often, by the time the energy assessor gets involved, the design has already been locked in. So contact us early, so we can do some modelling around concepts and achieve great results while any changes can still be easily made. Call us in Perth on 0433 987 507, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in an online message form. We’re here to help.
Alex Morrison has worked with a range of businesses giving him an in depth understanding of many different industries including house cleaning, financial support and digital printing. As the owner of Integral Media, he is now utilising his knowledge and experience with his rapidly increasing client portfolio to help them achieve their business goals.