Working with designers, architects, owners and builders to achieve high levels of energy savings and meet regulatory requirements for home energy efficiency.
A NatHERS assessment can be used to meet State and Federal building regulations and show the home, when built to the plans and specifications, will rate at least 6 stars ( or 7 stars for NCC 2022).
But clients may want more than the minimum standard - working with an energy assessor early in the design process can help achieve greater energy efficiencies and minimise time delays if amendments are needed to the building permit. It’s cheaper and less stressful to make changes on paper beforehand, rather than halfway through a build!
Home designs and major renovations can be modelled (in non-regulation mode) using future climate scenarios to see how buildings might cope with extreme weather events and a warming world.
NatHERS will soon rate the energy performance for the whole home, including the major appliances, solar panels and batteries, in addition to the star rating for the building shell. This will give an estimate of the energy cost to run the home and the greenhouse gas emissions; the aim is to at least break even. The Whole of Home assessment will also indicate the amount of solar PV needed to offset, if breakeven is not achieved.
Ecologica is accredited to use First Rate 5 and HERO rating software. My focus is on Class 1a home builds across central Victoria, but designs for other regional areas can also be assessed.
Working with owners, landlords and renters to identify and implement actions that will improve wellbeing, save on energy bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
RES Scorecard is the most appropriate current assessment tool to use on existing homes. It produces a Certificate outlining a star rating out of 10, plus winter and summer thermal comfort levels and appliance efficiencies/costs. But unlike NatHERS, the star rating is based on the relative cost to run the home. It doesn’t include non-fixed appliances such as plug in heating, entertainments systems and kitchen appliances. Because heating/cooling, hot water and lighting are generally the main energy costs, it makes sense to focus on these, as well as the shell of the home.
Once the assessment is done, the Scorecard software can be used to model various retrofit options and upgrades to see what the impact of making changes will be to cost and comfort. Actions can be prioritised.
Importantly, the Scorecard assessment process gives clients an opportunity to discuss their home’s energy efficiency and learn more about ways to improve it.
A detailed report is also provided which goes into more depth on the home’s features and opportunities for upgrade, including incentives and rebates, suppliers, installers and other resources that are appropriate to the client’s needs.
My focus is on homes across central Victoria but other regional areas can also be considered, depending on the location.
Ecologica can provide extra services to energy assessments, including thermal imaging (FLIR).
Dr Fiona Gray, CEO renew.