Energy Efficiency Rating

A measure of the thermal performance of the building fabric of the property.

Since March 1999 in the ACT, there has been a requirement for mandatory disclosure of the energy performance of all existing residential properties that have been occupied and are offered for sale. The energy rating must be disclosed in all advertisements for sale and the EER forms part of the contract for sale. Energy assessments need to be completed by a Licenced Building Assessor and may be organised by you or your real estate agent.

The Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) ranges from 0 to 6 stars, and is determined by inputting data of the house into FirstRate V4.05. The higher the score, the more energy efficient the house will be. However, new dwelling designs must achieve an EER of at least six stars. These ratings are produced using 2nd generation software, which is different to the software used on existing homes, and houses can achieve up to 10 stars. The ratings between both FirstrateV4.05 (1st generation software) and 2nd generation software should not be compared. Different outcomes are achieved as the data input and the software are different.

The assessment is based on the thermal performance of the building material used. This does not include heating or cooling systems. Specific attributes of the house are interpreted and entered into the program, which generates a point score for that set of attributes; for example, insulated walls and double-glazed windows increase the score, while windows without curtains and an absence of ceiling insulation reduce the score. The total score determines the star-rating of the house.

A one point score approximates to a 1 per cent increase or decrease in energy efficiency, and between 11 and 24 points increases the rating by one star. If a house is not energy-efficient, improving its value by 20 points will have a substantial effect on its overall efficiency.

The report will also include options to improve the EER of the dwelling. This can then be used to assess the costs involved with such options, and can be acted upon by either the vendor or the purchaser.