NatHERS Certificate and Star Rating

What is NatHERS, what does a NatHERS Certificate Cost and why would I need a Star Rating?

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What is NatHERS?

The Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS/6-star) provides energy ratings for new dwellings, renovations, alterations and extensions. The goal is to create more energy efficient homes helping you to save money on your energy bills. 


NatHERS provides a star rating from 1 to 10 based on the home’s design, construction materials, insulation, glazing and climate zone.


NatHERS does not currently cover the energy efficiency of appliances (such as air-conditioning or heating systems, solar panels, batteries, etc). 


The introduction of NatHERS Whole of Home in the National Construction Code 2022 will include a new approach that accounts for appliances, solar and batteries and will be become a requirement for new homes in 2023 (subject to state requirements).


Find out more about NatHERS Whole of Home Assessments.


In New South Wales, BASIX supersedes the NatHERS Requirements in the National Construction Code. As part of BASIX a NatHERS Certificate is still required in accordance with BASIX protocols.

NatHERS 6-Star and 7-Star Ratings

Does your project require a NatHERS Report? Our team at Green Choice Consulting can help ensure your project is compliant with the National Construction Code with our range of energy efficiency reports.


Our accredited NatHERS assessors are ready to model your home using the NatHERS pathway and are well equipped to provide advice and maintain the design of your home.

What is a NatHERS Certificate and Star Rating?

New developments with multiple dwellings in Australia must meet a minimum energy efficiency requirement, as set by the National Construction Code. NatHERS, or the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme, is the means by which new residential properties are scored on their energy efficiency.


Using a 10-star rating system, residential properties previously had to achieve a minimum 6-star rating to meet compliance, however, this is about to change with 7-star ratings becoming the new minimum requirement. This expansion to the NatHERS system is the largest since 1993 and works to bring Australia to a more sustainable future.

How to achieve a NatHERS 7-star rating

In order to achieve a 7-star rating, certain key considerations need to be made in the dwelling’s design phase to ensure optimum energy efficiency. These considerations include:


  • Orientation and direction in which the home faces
  • Insulation
  • Building materials used
  • Various design features, e.g. double glazed windows

An Australian Government department, Your Home, has provided free Design For Place home designs to help home builders create energy-efficient, sustainable homes to suit various climates and lifestyles. 


This can help you with design choices and assist you in discussions with your architect or builder.

Updates to the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme

As well as the new minimum 7-star rating requirement, a NatHERS Certificate will soon begin to include a new ‘Whole of Home’ rating that measures the energy use of the whole home. The new assessment provides information about the energy use of appliances including lighting, solar, heating and cooling systems, batteries and more.


Previously, these appliances were not included in assessments as they are likely to be replaced or changed in the future. However, this new assessment assists in building a useful energy snapshot of a home’s energy costs as well as greenhouse gas emissions. The new Whole of Home Performance Rating will be a separate, additional rating out of 100 in addition to the standard NatHERS star rating.

What is involved in a NatHERS Assessment and Star Rating?

NatHERS is assessed using licensed software that measures the thermal performance of a dwelling. Accredited assessors such as Green Choice Consulting, input a series of information to the software which then uses thermal modelling to determine the level of heating or cooling required to achieve a comfortable temperature.


Beginning with information including construction type, materials, glazing and insulation, the software develops a simulation of the dwelling. From here, the simulation determines the need for heating and cooling systems provided the occupant uses windows, blinds and awnings to control internal temperature prior to using the air conditioning systems.


Based on this information, the software is able to deliver a star rating that reflects the level of energy efficiency of the dwelling. Specific heating and cooling targets are set by NatHERS, which the dwelling must meet to achieve the minimum 7-star rating.


To accurately model a home we require the following details:

  • A site plan showing the boundaries and house position
  • Floor plan showing the layout of the house
  • Elevations showing the walls, roof and windows
  • Electrical plans showing any downlights, exhaust fans and ceiling fans
  • Sections drawings if available

Should you be missing any information we are happy to discuss what details we require and can also consider alternative energy efficiency reports and assessment methods.

When is a NatHERS Certificate Required?

To get a building permit you must demonstrate that your home meets the minimum energy efficiency requirements outlined in the national construction code. The most common pathway used in Australia is a NatHERS report showing that your home achieves a 6 star energy rating.


A NatHERS energy report can be used to show compliance for all residential dwellings, including:

  • Class 1: a single dwelling such as a detached house, one or a group of two or more attached dwellings
  • Class 2: apartment buildings (typically multi-unit residential buildings with people living below and above each other)
  • Class 4: this includes sole dwellings or residences that are part of a building that is non-residential in nature

What does the NatHERS Star Rating Mean?

A NatHERS rating is given on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being considered a passive house, that does not require the use of any artificial heating or cooling systems. A higher rating indicates that less energy is required to keep the house at a comfortable temperature.


A 0 star rated dwelling would offer no insulation from the external weather and would require almost constant heating or cooling to stay comfortable.


Currently, houses are required to achieve a 6 star energy rating which indicate a moderate level of thermal comfort. The introduction of the National Construction Code 2022 will raise the standard to 7 stars.


Increasing the energy efficiency standard from 6 to 7 stars will reduce the expected  yearly energy consumption by about 24%.

NatHERS 6 Star Energy Efficiency Report Logo

NatHERS Star Rating Calculator - How is the Rating Calculated?

An accredited assessor will input information into NatHERS software (FirstRate5) and using thermal modelling the software will determine how much energy is used for heating and cooling your home.


Based on your climate zone NatHERS sets out specific heating and cooling targets which must be met to your project has met the 6.0 star or 7.0 star energy rating standard.


To accurately model a home we require the following details:

  • A site plan showing the boundaries and house position
  • Floor plan showing the layout of the house
  • Elevations showing the walls, roof and windows
  • Electrical plans showing any downlights, exhaust fans and ceiling fans
  • Sections drawings if available

Who can complete a NatHERS Certificate?

An assessor must be trained with an Assessor Accrediting Organisation (AAO) to be able to issue a NatHERS certificate. Currently there are three AAO’s that offer membership for accreditation.


All assessors must hold a Certificate IV in one of the following courses:

  • Certificate IV in Home Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (Thermal Performance Assessment) – CPP41119
  • Certificate IV in Home Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (Home Sustainability Assessment and Thermal Performance Assessment) – CPP41119
  • Certificate IV in NatHERS Assessment – CPP41212 (no longer available)

All assessors are required to under going audits and must get 12 CPD (Continuing Professional Development) points each year.

Why do I need an accredited NatHERS Assessor?

Insured – We are required to have professional indemnity insurance.

Accurate & Reliable – We are also subject to audits for quality assurance.

Get a Certified Certificate – Only a NatHERS accredited assessor can issue a certified certificate. Some areas and developments may not accept reports from non-accredited assessors.

Accredited – Our senior assessor and director of Green Choice Consulting is a Design Matters National (DMN) member with accreditation number DMN/21/2045.

Non-accredited assessors are not required to undertake training.

Get Your NatHERS Certificate

Get in contact today and learn how we can help prepare your NatHERS Certificate

What does a NatHERS Certificate Cost?

The starting price for a NatHERS Certificate on a class 1 dwelling is $200 (plus GST).


The price varies depending on the size, complexity and requirements of the project. We find most projects fall within the price range below:


Single Storey Dwellings: $200-$300 + GST

Double Storey Dwellings: $300-$500 + GST

What are the benefits of getting a NatHERS Star Rating?

When we prepare a NatHERS report we will provide you with information so that you know how much energy your home is using for heating and cooling. If your home does not achieve a 6.0 star rating, we will provide you with options to reduce the energy usage of your home and meet the 6.0 star rating. This will help improve the value of your property and reduce your energy consumption, making your home more energy efficient.


It is important to be aware, that NatHERS does not currently account for the performance of heating appliances, cooling appliances, home energy appliances, solar panels, solar batteries, water consumption, lighting or water efficiency.


The introduction of NatHERS Whole of Home in 2023 will phase in a whole of home rating that incorporates the impact of different applicances, solar systems and batteries. This will help transition Australia towards the goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

What is the difference between a BASIX Certificate and a NatHERS Certificate?

To get a BASIX certificate you will need to show compliance with the water targets, thermal comfort targets and energy targets.

In the thermal comfort section you have two options:

  1. Do-It-Yourself (D.I.Y) Method: This is a simple assessment method that uses standard construction materials and methods. It does not require the house to be modeled, which means the compliance requirements will be higher in most cases.
  2. NatHERS Simulation method: This method involves doing a detailed assessment of the house by modelling its design in NatHERS software. This method provides the expected energy usage for heating and cooling based on the design of the house, it’s materials and the climate.

BASIX does not require a 6 star rating to be achieved in NatHERS software, however it does allow the use of NatHERS software to demonstrate compliance with the thermal comfort section for separate heating and cooling loads.

The thermal comfort section sets separate heating and cooling target loads, which must be met to show that your project is compliant. A NatHERS certificate will show the separate heating and cooling loads, and will verify that the required BASIX loads have been met.

BASIX is only required in New South Wales.

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