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A whole-of-home approach to energy efficiency brings into consideration both the thermal performance of a home and the efficiency of appliances to determine the overall impact on energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and cost.
To support designers and assessors in adopting whole-of-home thinking, Sustainability Victoria developed an extension to the FirstRate5 House Energy Rating Software called the Whole of Home Pilot Tool.
Whilst this tool has received endorsement by the NatHERS administrator, there are no formal requirements for its use. Whole-of-home energy assessments are anticipated to be included in the upcoming changes to the National Construction Code.
Learn more about the positive impacts of a whole-of-home approach on energy performance.
Sustainability Victoria created its first whole-of-home tool in 2016 and has continued to update it for use in the Zero Net Carbon Homes Pilot (pdf, 839kB) and the 7 Star Homes Program.
The pilot tool works by importing the heating and cooling load data from a FirstRate5 project file and then adds additional appliance and distributed energy modules.
Assessors can specify the performance of fixed appliances such as heating and cooling systems, hot water systems, lighting, pool pumps, and on-site renewable energy generation and storage.
The assessment can be completed in under 10 minutes and provides results on the home's annual energy use, energy costs, greenhouse gas emissions and societal cost.
The FirstRate5 Whole-of-Home Pilot Tool has been developed for use in the Victorian Governments 7 Star Homes Program for the purpose of increasing familiarity with whole of home assessments. The current version of the tool includes a pilot version of the Australian Building Codes Board’s proposed PR2 requirement calculations for societal cost and cannot be used to assess compliance with NCC 2022. An updated version of the tool will be released in 2022, once all requirements for NCC 2022 are known.
The current Pilot Tool has limitations that impact the type of file that can be imported and the location of homes that can be fully assessed:
Additional limitations related to the specification of appliances and on-site renewable energy generation, as well as information on future updates to the Pilot Tool will be covered during training sessions.
Sustainability Victoria is offering free, one-hour online training sessions. The purpose of these sessions is to introduce the pilot tool within the context of NCC2022, and outline why it is been piloted as part of the 7-Star Homes Program.
Who should attend:
After attending this interactive session, you will:
Visit Eventbrite to select a training session.
If you cannot attend any of the listed sessions, or would like to learn more about SVs upcoming 7-star plus design and construction training sessions, register your interest.
Access to the pilot tool is provided upon completion of the online training session.
To use the FirstRate5 Whole of Home Pilot Tool, you will also need to have an active FirstRate5 account. You can create a FirstRate5 account for free by visiting the FirstRate5 website.