The history of energy ratings in Australia

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Energy efficiency recognition of buildings first began in Australia in the 1980′s with the Five Star Design Rating (FSDR) which was an award given for “high efficiency through excellence in design and construction” for marketing purposes. The certification was based on the glass, mass and insulation in the home and gave a simple pass/fail rating of 5 stars.

In the 1990′s different schemes were adopted by the different states. In Victoria, a computer program was developed and deemed to be the most effective method of representation, however was ineffective in warmer climates . This resulted in the development of the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) which brought the software programs FirstRate, BERS Pro and Accurate into fruition.

In 2003 the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) introduced energy efficiency for houses into the Building Code of Australia (BCA) (now known as the National Construction Code NCC). It has been adopted by all the Australian states and territories with variations. Victoria and South Australia were the first states to go beyond the standard of 4-stars, and brought in the requirement for 5-stars in 2004. Since then 6-stars has been established as a minimum requirement in most states, whilst NSW operates according to the BASIX system (Building Sustainability Index).

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