The Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme, commonly known as NatHERS, which is applied through software tools such as AccuRate Sustainability, has become the predominant pathway for complying with energy efficiency requirements within the National Construction Code of Australia.
Current energy efficiency regulations have remained unchanged for a decade and there is an intention to increase these requirements, through mandating a higher minimum star rating for buildings. Furthermore, existing energy efficiency regulations only cover the building envelope, through the energy needed for space heating and cooling, and not the energy efficiency of major appliances. In addition, current regulations do not incorporate sufficient quality assurance processes, in relation to compliance. Finally, the current regime is inconsistent with international best practice.
This project aimed to review, analyse and recommend changes, in light of these issues. One conculsion being that whilst the original context of NatHERS was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions the rapid transition to renewable energy underway in the Australian energy system, makes this context is no longer valid.