Developing a ‘whole of house’ rating for new homes

Renew’s comments on a new ‘Whole of House’ energy model in the National Construction Code.

New minimum standards for how homes are built are set to come into force in 2022. This is a great opportunity to improve outdated standards and make homes more energy efficient.

Better household energy performance means better health, lower bills, less pressure on the electricity grid, and lower greenhouse gas emissions. But Australia’s current standards on energy efficiency are lagging behind other countries and leaving residents worse off.

Renew sits on the technical advisory committee that is informing how new energy efficiency standards will be developed and added to the National Construction Code. Over the course of 2020, we are making sure the voice of consumers is heard as we push for Australia’s housing standards to be increased to at least a minimum 7 star rating.

The updated code is likely to incorporate a new ‘whole of house’ energy rating. This tool will give an overall energy performance rating for a home that takes into consideration thermal shell, heating and cooling, hot water, appliances, occupant behaviour, and onsite solar PV. 

Renew is providing technical input to the committee on the modelling that will be used when updating the ‘Whole of House’ compliance pathway in the NCC.

We believe the priority when developing compliance pathways should be to ensure that a genuine step-change in energy performance can be delivered by an increase in stringency in the 2022 NCC. Models must reflect the social, environmental and health benefits of improved energy performance while ensuring that the least efficient existing practices are replaced.

You can read our feedback on the ‘Whole of House’ issues paper here.