Energy ratings: From planning to finance

August 28, 2020

Energy Ratings are not only be used for National Construction Code compliance: Bank Australia has recently launched the nation’s first Clean Energy Home Loan.

Partnering with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Bank Australia have offered up to a 0.5% discount over five years on homes built with a minimum 7-star NatHERS rating. The discount also applies to green upgrades that raise the energy rating of homes by 1 star. You can check the difference a 1 star change would make in heating and cooling energy demand by looking up your area among the NatHERS star bands. In Melbourne’s climate zone a 1 star increase in your home’s star rating could lead to a 27% reduction in heating and cooling energy usage and in Brisbane a 21% reduction, all other things being equal.

plant on window sill

To obtain a Green Loan, the home needs to be NatHERS rated one star above the minimum 6 stars set by the National Construction Code. This isn’t a high hurdle for new home builders. 1 in 5 homes built nationally already rate above 6 stars and in places like Tasmania and the ACT the average star rating is already above 7 stars. You can explore Australia housing performance statistics at CSIRO’s Australian Housing Data Portal.

With an estimated 50% of the housing stock standing in 2050 still to be built, it is good that an energy rating can help get a better home loan rate. Hopefully the future will see further finance products that provide an incentive for better design as we strive for net zero carbon homes by the looming 2050 deadline.

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Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme
Supported by data from the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS)