Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme
The Australian Government's Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) uses computer simulations to assess the potential thermal comfort of homes on a scale of zero to 10 stars. The more stars, the less likely the occupants will need cooling or heating to stay comfortable. Assessing a building's thermal performance at the design stage can identify simple, economical ways to make it more comfortable and save energy.
Articles and background reading about NatHERS
Residential ratings – so who’s got the dodgy data then? The Fifth Estate, Oct 2010
Banking on a Green Home - Sanctuary, Issue 12 2010
What is included in a rating?
- layout (how different zones of the home connect, and how the home sits on the block)
- construction of the roof, walls, windows and floor (external, internal, insulation)
- orientation of windows in relation to sun's path, shading and local breezes (passive heating and cooling potential)
- how well these suit the local climate (69 different climate zones are defined in the software)
What is not included?
- Energy consumption by hot water systems, lights or household appliances
- Internal window dressings
- ... because these things are often replaced during the life of the building
What do the stars mean?
- Zero stars means the building envelope does virtually nothing to protect occupants from the discomfort of hot and cold weather
- 5 stars indicates good, but not outstanding, thermal performance
- 10 stars means the home is unlikely to need any artificial cooling or heating to maintain a comfortable temperature for occupants
- You can read more about star ratings here