Energy ratings, construction codes and standards

Last updated: 1 June 2023

New homes and significant renovations in Victoria need to be assessed against the minimum energy performance requirements set out in the building regulations and must meet a minimum 6-star performance standard. These regulations, codes and standards will help you improve your sustainability. With good design, especially at the planning stage, you can more easily meet or boost your rating to increase your comfort, save money on energy bills and future proof your asset.

Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS)

The Nationwide House Energy Rating (NatHER) is a Star Rating from 0 to 10 that measures how energy efficient a house is, based on its design. The rating applies to the building envelope: the roof, walls, floor and windows. Houses with higher HERs are more naturally comfortable in winter and summer, and therefore easier and cheaper to heat and cool.

Since 2013 new Victoria apartments must achieve an average 6-star rating collectively for all sole-occupancy units (SOU) and not less than a 5-star rating for each individual SOU. New standalone homes must achieve at least a 6-star rating. To ensure you future proof your asset, it is strongly recommended you exceed today's minimum standards.

Compliance with these standards is managed by the Victorian Building Authority (VBA).

Green Building Council Australia Green Star rating

Green Star assesses the sustainable design, construction and operation of buildings, fitouts and communities. Visit the Green Star Project Directory for more information.

National Construction Code (NCC)

The NCC requires minimum Energy Efficiency performance requirements for new buildings. The NCC is an initiative of the Council of Australian Governments developed to incorporate all on-site building and plumbing requirements into a single code. The NCC sets the minimum requirements for the design, construction and performance of buildings throughout Australia.

Questions about the NCC and other codes should be directed to the Australian Building Codes Board and the Victorian Building Authority.

Window Energy Rating Scheme (WERS)

The Window Energy Rating Scheme (WERS) rates a window's glazing and frame energy performance in the form of stars. This will help you to compare the relative energy performance of different windows and decide which type is best for your needs.

Insulation standards and R values

Various Australian Standards and National Codes of Practice cover the installation of insulation products. For more information on installing insulation visit the Insulation Council of Australia and New Zealand (ICANZ) website. You should also consider recommended R values for Victoria. The higher the R value, the greater the insulating effect and energy savings.

Water efficiency labelling and standards (WELS)

The Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) sets out the criteria for rating the water efficiency and/or performance of each WELS product type. The WELS rating is from 1 to 6 stars; the more stars, the more water efficient the product.

Smart Approved WaterMark

Products and services labelled with a Smart Approved WaterMark have been assessed by technical experts to make sure they achieve water savings.

Appliance energy ratings

Many electric appliances sold in Australia have an Energy Rating Label to help you compare how much electricity the product uses compared to other appliances.

Energy Smart Housing Manual

The Energy Smart Housing Manual is a comprehensive and easy to read manual that explains six key energy efficiency concepts specific to Victorian regulations and climate conditions.

Read more

Residential Efficiency Scorecard

A Scorecard energy efficiency assessment will help you identify where your home is using the most energy, give it a Scorecard energy efficiency star rating, and suggest ways to make it more comfortable and more energy efficient to run. Whether you're selling, buying, renovating, looking to cut power bills or feel more comfortable in your home, Scorecard can help.

Visit the Scorecard website