In Australia, all new homes, renovations and extensions must meet an energy efficiency minimum. These regulations were introduced by the government in 2006 and require that all new projects must receive at least a 6-star energy rating.
An energy efficiency assessment is a formal piece of evidence that a project meets the 6-star minimum, and can be carried out by most modern home builders. The main objective of this program is to regulate reliance on cooling and heating systems and to build homes that can stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter without excessive energy consumption. Some of the elements that will be assessed in a home are:
- Building sealing
- Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems
- Building design and orientation
- Air movement
- Materials and fabric used
A 6-star rating represents a good performance, whereas a 10 star rated home may not need any heating and cooling systems to maintain its temperatures. Apart from meeting Australian standards, there are many reasons to get an energy assessment and develop a home with proven sustainability. Here are why energy assessments are so important and what they can do for you and your home.
Save you money on bills
A more energy-efficient home means lower energy and water bills, which can save you thousands of dollars over time. While it may be cheaper upfront to cut some corners regarding your home’s efficiency, a poorly insulated home with cheap appliances can cost a bomb to keep comfortable in extreme weather conditions.
Excessive use of heating and cooling systems is an expensive habit. You have a very good chance of making back the extra money you spend on improving your home’s sustainability through the savings you make on energy and water bills.
Discover alternative solutions to suit your budget
If your energy assessment reveals that your project doesn’t yet meet the current standards, this gives you and your building designers an opportunity to come up with alternative solutions within your budget before it’s too late.
This way, your builders can review any problem areas and amend the project accordingly. This will save you from any headaches down the track and help make sure your energy bills will be affordable and fair.
Comfort and livability
No one wants to live in a home that’s freezing in the winter and boiling hot in the summer. Having to rely on heating and cooling systems is not only bad for the environment, but it can make the air in a home stuffy and hard to breathe, and can result in poor sleep, respiratory issues and dry skin.
Building a home that needs as little artificial temperature control as possible will ensure that it’s livable, functional and comfortable for all its occupants.
Find ways to improve your existing home
Even if you’re not building, renovating or extending a home, you can still get an energy assessment on your existing house. The average home in Australia only has a 3-star energy rating, so if your house was built some time ago there’s a good chance that there will be some room for improvement.
If you want to reduce your carbon footprint and decrease your energy bills, an energy assessment will help you to achieve your goals and do the right thing for our planet.
The good thing about energy assessments is that they’re affordable and generally have a quick turnaround time. Most inspectors will provide you with your report within days of their inspection, to avoid holding up construction and allowing the project to move forward swiftly. To organise an assessment, talk to your home builders or reach out to an energy assessment expert.