7 Star Homes Program

Last updated: 7 July 2021

The 7 Star Homes program will work with businesses and individuals across the building and construction supply chain to increase capability and capacity for delivering energy-efficient homes.

With proposed changes to the National Construction Code forecast for 2022, the 7 Star Homes program will accelerate the transition to 7-star homes by:

  • offering financial rebates to assist with upgrade costs
  • providing training so that individuals and businesses have the skills and capabilities required to deliver more energy-efficient homes.

Learn more about going from 6 to 7 stars in Feature Home: 2 Sunlight Avenue, Cape Patterson.

To learn more about the positive impacts of a whole-of-home approach, read this case study.

Stream A: Rebates

Collaborate with us to build up to four 7-star homes

Registered builders and land developers can work with Sustainability Victoria to design and build 7-star NatHERS rated homes. This includes:

  • $4,000 rebates per home, for up to four homes built, to assist with upgrade costs
  • as-built verification assessment to ensure homes are built to achieve the same efficiency rating as designed
  • 6-to-7-star training, online and in person, to support the design process and to upskill employees
  • exclusive sales and marketing training designed especially for selling energy-efficient homes
  • support with marketing collateral to promote this collaboration.

There are 80 rebates available under this program. These will be available on a first-in, first-served basis provided your application meets the requirements for registration.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for this opportunity you must be:

  • a registered builder or a land developer who engages registered builders to build homes.
  • able to complete a minimum of one home and a maximum of four homes by 30 September 2022.

Requirements

Homes must:

  • meet a minimum 7-star NatHERS rating
  • undergo a whole-of-home (WoH) assessment using Sustainability Victoria’s new pilot assessment tool*
  • complete a WoH assessment rating of energy-efficient appliances, as outlined in Technical Criteria (docx, 141kB)
  • pass an as-built verification assessment achieving:
    • maximum 10 air changes per hour at 50 Pa and
    • 95 percent insulation coverage in both walls and ceiling
  • comply with all other areas of the National Construction Code.

*Please note: the WoH tool needs a FirstRate5 project file to operate. Builders who do not have a FirstRate5 NatHERS assessment will need to contact SV to discuss how their current assessment can be converted by SV to provide a FirstRate5 project file on their behalf.

How to apply

Submit your application

To apply for Stream A rebates, submit your application.

Stream B: Training

6-to-7-star training

This opportunity will assist builders and relevant building trades to transition to building homes that meet higher energy efficiency standards. The free training will include online learning modules, case studies and specification/handbook documents.

There will be two course modules provided as part of this training:

  1. Designing and building energy-efficient homes

    This module will focus on the design and fit out of 7-star homes. It will include both a focus on thermal envelope as well as fixed appliances, for a whole-of-home approach. This course will give builders, designers and associated professionals theoretical knowledge and practical skills to upgrade a 6-star design to 7 stars or to design a new home that meets 7-star standards.

    Access and training will also be provided for Sustainability Victoria’s pilot Whole-of-Home tool. This tool can be used to support the design process and assess energy performance, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy costs, associated with various fixed appliance options.

  2. Correct installation and build verification

    This module will provide practical advice on correct installation of insulation to meet 7-star standards. It will also provide guidance for relevant tradespersons on how to install insulation around fixed assets such as windows, electrical wires, and plumbing, without compromising the integrity of the insulation, and in turn the home’s air tightness.

    The module will also cover all areas of as-built verification, with recommended tests to ensure homes are built to perform as per the design specification.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for this opportunity you must meet one of the criteria:

  • Work for a registered builder or land developer.
  • Be a qualified tradesperson.
  • Be a qualified assessor.
  • Be a qualified architect/draftsperson.

Whole-of-Home tool training

We are currently developing a pilot Whole-of-Home tool to align with proposed changes to the National Construction Code.

This induction and training will support NatHERS assessors to include fixed appliances when completing an energy-efficiency assessment of a home. The tool will work together with FirstRate5 as an additional means of measuring energy efficiency beyond the current NatHERS star rating.

The pilot tool will also support builders and designers to consider the benefits of a whole-of-home approach when designing and selling sustainable and energy-efficient products. Support for builders to use this tool is included in the 6-to-7-star training.

To learn more about the positive impacts of a whole-of-home approach, read this case study.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for this opportunity you must be a registered NatHERS assessor.

Builders, designers, architects and engineers can also access this training.

Register your interest

To register for Stream B training opportunities, submit your expression of interest.

About the program

Sustainability Victoria’s 7 Star Homes program is a $2.19 million project as part of the 2020-21 State Budget measure Clean Energy Transition Initiatives. The program will build capability and capacity within the residential building market in preparedness for an increase to minimum energy-efficiency standards.

Building on the success and learnings of the Zero Net Carbon Homes pilot program, 7 Star Homes will support builders and land developers to bring market leading, energy-efficient homes to consumers. These homes are designed on the principle that a great home design can reduce the amount of energy required to keep a home comfortable with little or no additional construction cost.

Contact us

Book a 1:1 chat with a member of the 7 Star Homes team if you are unsure about these opportunities, or reach out by email at homes@sustainability.vic.gov.au.