6 Star Energy Rating Reports

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.

 A 6 Star Energy Rating is required for all new homes and extensions.

As a minimum, we will need floor plans, elevations and section to include:
  • One overall dimension on each floor
  • North Point
  • All window and door sizes
  • Building materials
  • Construction types
  • Floor coverings
  • Exhaust fan locations
  • Lighting plan
  • Neighbouring information

For more complex sites/design, having the CAD files will also help to model critical information.

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!

FAQ

We will have all preliminary energy rating report back within 72 hours for single dwellings and dual occupancy. This ensures that your projects progress steadily. We are available to meet urgent deadlines.

The best time to do an energy rating is in the initial design stage once the design is completed. Once the results are calculated, we can analyze the weaknesses of a design, zone by zone and offer recommendations to improve the overall energy rating. Completing a 6 Star Energy Rating at the end of the project gives you limited options to what can be done to get the dwelling up to 6 stars if the house performs poorly.

It is possible to achieve a 6-star energy rating without the need for double glazed windows and upgraded insulation if good passive design principles have been implemented, and doing the energy rating at the design stage can assist with reducing the building costs. Read our passive design consulting page for more information.

You will receive a full report with specifications, listing what is required to achieve a 6-star energy rating. Our reports are professional looking, easy to read and understand and provide all the necessary information required. We will also provide a specification list and certification stamps for the construction drawings so that you are able to apply for a building permit.

A home that has not considered good passive design could have the potential to add significant costs to the build by requiring expensive double glazing windows and doors, and insulation. By considering the orientation of the site, and designing the layout appropriately, with careful consideration to window location, size and shading, a 6 star home are achievable with minimal additional costs.

A House Energy Rating is the index of a building’s thermal performance (i.e. heating and cooling requirements) for residential homes in Australia.

Volume Builders

Cost-effective and efficient reports are key when working with the volume builder market. We have optimised our automation to be able to produce fast energy rating report and with the ability to pass the savings back to our clients. Our back end system also keeps clients up to date with where the project is. We currently have the capacity to produce 100 reports a week.

6 Star energy rating reports for extensions and alterations

The size of the extension and the internal works dictate how we achieve compliance.

If the extension and the internal works are over 50%, then the whole building will need to achieve 6 stars. This is because regulation 233 of the building regulations 2018 stipulates that any extension work over the last 3 years that is more than 50% of the original volume, the whole code applies.

So, the whole building must achieve a 6-star energy rating report.

We will treat the existing and alteration works together as a “new” building and provide a 6-star energy rating report.

The client will need to then apply for partial compliance requesting exemption for the existing walls, windows and flooring due to the cost to bring these up to the current 6 star code, the argument being it will cost far more in construction costs to perform these upgrades then the potential in energy savings the owners may receive throughout the life of the home.

If the extension and internal works are under 50%, then a two rating method can be used. This method enables us to perform a 6-star energy rating on the existing dwelling first with all the existing conditions added, with an average result of 1.5-3.5 stars can be expected. Then we perform another 6-star energy rating with the proposed extension also.

The proposed volume needs to be 6 stars, but this is averaged out with the existing dwelling results.

This method is often more cost effective as you only need to concentrate on the proposed extension and the existing roof cavity.

Alterative Solutions

If we are working on a tight site that has limited solar access and it is difficult to achieve the minimum 6 stars, we can prepare an alternative solution report application. This alternative solution report will demonstrate that an alternative method can produce better energy savings than the 6-star rating can provide.

A one-stop shop for all your sustainability needs