How Solar Power Can Help Builders Reach the 7-Star Energy Rating

May 3, 2022

If you're building homes (at any scale), you need to be thinking about energy efficiency. As governments increasingly emphasize on sustainable design principles, builders who cannot keep up will get left behind.

Fortunately, boosting a home's energy rating from six to seven stars does not need to be a daunting task. With solar energy, you can increase your rating and make more valuable homes.

Curious to learn how? Read on.

What is the NatHERS Rating System?

The rating system is based on the National House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS). NatHERS assesses the thermal performance of a house using computer software to model how it will perform in different climate zones across Australia.

Why Do You Need a 7-Star Rating?

Homes are given ratings out of 10 stars — while a 6-star home meets minimum energy efficiency standards, a 7-star rated home will typically use 20% less energy than a minimum-standard home.

The 6-star NatHERS rating was the minimum residential rating required in Australia, but this is changing. Builders may soon be required to achieve a 7-star rating for all new homes as part of the National Construction Code (NCC) from the Australian Building Codes Board.

The increase from six to seven stars might not sound like much, but it’s a big deal for builders. That’s because achieving a rating of 7 stars is no small feat — it requires careful planning, design, and the use of energy-efficient appliances, products, and materials.

What are the Benefits of a 7-Star Energy Rating?

A home with seven stars:

  • Is more comfortable all year round
  • Uses less energy for heating and cooling
  • Costs less to run
  • Creates fewer greenhouse gas emissions

Lower energy costs and greater eco-friendliness are desirable benefits. However, they only stack on top of the fact that 7-star ratings are quickly becoming the new standard for builders of energy-efficient homes.

What are the Requirements of a 7-Star Home?

Builders must meet specific requirements relating to the design and construction of the house. These include insulation, solar orientation, window size and shading, ventilation, airtightness, and thermal bridging.

How Can Solar Help Builders Achieve a 7-Star Rating?

There are several ways solar power can help builders make the jump from 6 to 7 stars:

  • Solar power and battery systems can provide renewable energy to offset the use of fossil fuels.
  • Solar PV inverter systems generate electricity from sunlight, which can offset the use of grid-supplied electricity.
  • Solar hot water systems can also provide hot water for the home, reducing the need for gas or electric heating.

Installing solar PV and solar hot water systems can help land developers to achieve their optimal ratings and create more comfortable, efficient, and sustainable homes.

Build An Energy Efficient Home With Solar Power Today

Solar power is a renewable resource that can help to preserve the earth's natural resources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save money on energy bills.

Developing in Bendigo? If you plan to build a new home, consider incorporating solar power into your design. Contact us today to learn what solar inverter and battery systems work best for you.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How does NatHERS check energy efficiency?

The National House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) uses computer software to model how a house will perform in different climate zones across Australia.

How much does it cost to get a 7-star energy rating?

The cost of achieving an energy rating of 7 stars will vary depending on the design and construction of the house.

What are some requirements for a 7-star home?

Some requirements include insulation, solar orientation, window size and shading, ventilation, airtightness, and thermal bridging.