A 6 Star Energy Rating Report is a measurement of the heating and cooling loads of a dwelling to determine how much energy is required per year to keep the occupants comfortable. It takes into consideration design layout, orientation, windows, doors and building material, amongst other things, to form a zone by zone analysis of the energy required to keep the home warm in winter and cold in summer. A 6 Star Energy Rating is required for all new homes and extensions.
We use the latest FirstRate 5 software and have completed advanced modelling workshops conducted by the BDAV so that we can perform 6-star energy rating reports on the trickiest home designs.
6 Star Energy Rating Reports are mandatory for all new dwellings, apartments and extensions
In May 2011, a mandatory 6-star energy rating was required before any building permits were issued. Now, the reason I use the words ‘estimated’ and ‘theoretical’ in my discussions is that unlike white goods or electronics that go through thousands of hours of R&D and testing to work out their actual performance and energy consumptions, dwellings have a 6-star energy rating issued prior to the start of construction. In an ideal world, with a competent builder who checks to ensure insulation has been installed correctly and windows have been chosen to match what is stated in the energy rating report, you could indeed live in a comfortable 6-star home.
According to a report issued by the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and Arts, heating and cooling accounts for 40% of the overall energy use in our homes on average within Australia. What the 6-star energy rating aims to achieve is better methods of keeping the warmth inside during winter, and keeping it out in summer, in hope that this will help to reduce the reliance on the amount of energy required to achieve a comfortable home.
What the 6-star energy requirement also aims to achieve is better thought in the design process to better utilise solar passive design principles, a method termed by using that beautiful warm winter sun that sits low enough in the sky so that it can penetrate through those north facing living areas where you spend most of your time – you don’t pay for the sun – that’s free energy!