Understanding the 7-Star Energy Rating
7-Star Energy Rating for New Homes in Victoria, Australia
On 26 August 2022, Victoria agreed to increase the minimum energy efficiency building standards for new homes from 6 to 7 stars under changes to the National Construction Code 2022. This change is part of Victoria’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to a net-zero future.
What is a 7-Star Energy Rating?
A 7-star energy rating signifies that a home is highly energy efficient. These homes are more comfortable to live in, cost less to heat and cool, and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The new standards have a mandatory commencement date in Victoria of 1 May 2024.
Benefits of a 7-Star Home
- Cost Savings: Energy-efficient homes are cheaper to run, saving households hundreds of dollars a year on energy bills.
- Comfort: These homes are more comfortable to live in and more resilient to extreme weather.
- Environmental Impact: Lowering the amount of energy that a house needs reduces greenhouse gas emissions and supports the transition to a net-zero emissions future.
How to Achieve a 7-Star Rating
The new standards introduce a Whole of Home annual energy use budget for fixed appliances such as heating, cooling, hot water systems, and lighting. Here are some tips on how you can achieve these standards:
- Efficient Appliances: Choose energy-efficient appliances for heating, cooling, and lighting. This will not only help you meet the new standards but also reduce your energy bills.
- Solar Panels: Consider installing solar panels. The Solar Homes rebate program in Victoria offers rebates to reduce the upfront cost of installing solar panels.
- Hot Water Systems: Victoria will remove barriers to installing efficient electric hot water systems under the new code. This will help households experience further benefits from investing in solar panels.
- Design: Work with builders and designers who understand the new standards. Sustainability Victoria is providing rebates to registered builders and land developers to design and build 7-star NatHERS rated homes.
Remember, building an energy-efficient home is not just about meeting regulations – it’s about creating a comfortable, cost-effective living environment that also helps protect our planet.