Homes forced into energy audits

I read an article recently in the Sunday Mail which captured my attention.  An excerpt is below;

“ALL Australian homes will have to undergo a mandatory energy-efficiency assessment – costing up to $1500 per property – before they can be sold or rented under new laws to tackle carbon emissions. “

At that price tag it is hard to imagine property owners being too excited about this proposed measure.  From my understanding of the proposed measure it will use the ACT House Energy Rating Scheme (ACTHERS) as a model for nationwide legislation.  It’s interesting to note that a house rating under that scheme costs about $150-200.

ACTHERS has been in place since 1999 where residential buildings are given an Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) which uses 0 to 6-star system to indicate the level comfort, emissions and running costs of the home.  The higher that star rating, the more cost & energy efficient the house will be in terms of heating & cooling.  It is important to note that the rating scheme does not cover water heating or any other household appliances.

  1. What is an energy assessment for?  In a residential context it’s a means of assisting in making purchase/lease decisions on a property.  Similar to knowing the fuel efficiency rating of a car.
  2. What can the owner expect from an energy assessment?  A star-rating that will give you an idea of the property’s performance in terms of heating/cooling running costs as well as some recommendations for improvement.  Although like fuel efficiency ratings on cars it depends how you drive it.
  3. What is the difference between and energy audit and an energy assessment?  Energy audits are far more comprehensive than assessments and are covered by standards such as AS/NZS 3598:2000.  Audits are really designed to tell you how your energy is being used and are best used as tools in an Energy Management Program.  Energy management is really what makes the difference in saving costs and the environment.  Using the car analogy; an assessment tells you the fuel efficiency rating but an audit will analyse your fuel usage and recommend improvements to your driving habits that should help you manage your fuel better.

So a star-rating is useful but one needs to be mindful of the fact that it is not the full picture because like fuel efficiency ‘it depends how you drive it’.  It should also be pointed out that many of the recommendations to improve house efficiency are readily available on the internet (see links below or email us at EfficientSee for more info).

Sunday Mail Article Link:

Useful Home Energy Efficiency Links:

Join the Conversation


  1. It’s actually good news that a whole government makes such a big commitment towards energy efficiency. Yes it’s expensive, but an energy assesment –which at this price it’s likely a full audit– can pay itself fairly easily if it’s correctly used to improve the energy performance of the building.

    1. Agreed, I commend the Australian goverment commitment to energy efficiency. However, in the domestic arena there are plenty of efficiency techniques that can be applied for free. In fact in Australia people can borrow a ‘Home Audit Kit’ from any local library which would be a great first step in reaping the rewards that energy efficiency can offer.

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