What exactly does a 6 Star Energy Rating mean? You’ve seen it advertised and heard people talk about it, but apart from being ‘good for the environment’ and ‘saving you money’, what does it all really mean? Let us break it down for you:
The Federal Government has introduced the 6 Star Energy Efficiency Rating benchmark for all new homes built in Australia. The Energy Efficiency Certificate (Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme) of a new home applies to the roof, windows, walls and floor. This is not hard to achieve – if you consider it in the planning stages with your builder. Reaching a 6 Star Rating should only see building costs increase minimally – again, if you consider it in the planning stages with your builder. A home with this rating uses approximately 24% less energy for heating and cooling than a similar-sized 5 Star home. So basically, the higher a home’s star-rating, the better it is. Just like when you shopped for your latest television or fridge, you may have based your decision on the star rating.
As well increasing the value of your home, energy efficient designs can lower your household bills and hold a comfortable temperate without simply relying on heating or cooling – and that means the environment benefits too. Energy efficient homes lower greenhouse gas emissions and are more resistant to climate change, so the demand for them is increasing. Being green doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the cosmetics of your build. A good builder will have a knack for incorporating sustainable design principles into your home without style and décor going out the window.
A few things to keep in mind when planning the build of your new home:
- Maximise north-facing windows and minimise western, southern and eastern-facing windows
- Opt for ceiling fans where appropriate
- Recognise areas of the home that can be closed off
- Place low-use rooms like bathrooms or the laundry to the east and west, main living rooms such as dining and meals to the north and bedrooms to the south
- Choose energy-efficient lighting, that may include sensors
Want to know more? Head to http://www.vba.vic.gov.au/