Australia has adopted energy efficiency standards within different sectors, but some key industries still lack basic regulation. Compared to other developed countries Australia has relatively well-established standards for buildings and appliances.


However, when it comes to transport and industry, Australian standards are either non-existent or outdated. The opportunity to improve energy efficiency not only offers a means of lowering emissions, but also saving consumers and businesses money in household and operational energy costs.


Australian building standards, or the “National Construction Code” (NCC), ensure there is a minimum level of insulation and design requirements for new residences. These standards help to reduce the emissions and running costs of residences while ensuring that homes stay at a comfortable temperature all year round. However, the majority of homes in Australia have been constructed prior to the implementation of modern efficiency standards. The result of this is that many existing homes have less efficient designs and are built with low heat retaining construction materials. This means these homes are, in general, more costly to keep warm in winter and/or cool in summer, consume more water and are less comfortable to live in.


Residential Efficiency Scorecard Research Pilot Evaluation Report 2020 and Residential Efficiency Scorecard Tropical Pilot Evaluation Report 2020. Improving the thermal comfort of a home can be relatively straightforward, with each addition acting to improve the overall thermal comfort and energy savings. Insulation, draught proofing, shading and wind breaks all offer a means of reducing heat gains and losses. State and territory governments, and even some local councils, are implementing their own programs to promote energy efficiency in the home. The The Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) accredits a number of software tools that can measure and rate a home’s energy efficiency.


These tools provide a ‘measuring tape’ for rating the energy performance of Australian homes. State and territory governments use NatHERS for regulatory purposes, to support the building industry to demonstrate compliance with the National Construction Code (NCC).


NatHERS has become the most popular pathway to demonstrate compliance with the NCC energy efficiency requirements. NatHERS is administered by the Australian Government on behalf of all states and territories. AccuRate Home is fully accredited and can be used to produce ratings and certificates for all new dwellings, including apartments, town houses and detached homes. It can be used for regulatory purposes for both thermal (building shell) and Whole of Home assessments.