Whole-of-Home Pilot Tool

Last updated: 6 September 2022

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.

About the pilot tool

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.


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:

  • Builders and designers looking to better understand the impacts of whole-of-home.
  • NatHERS assessors.

After attending this interactive session, you will:

  • understand more about whole-of-home, what it means and why it's being assessed as part of the 7 Star Homes program
  • know how to use the tool to:
    • conduct a whole-of-home assessment
    • understand opportunities to improve the outcome of your whole-of-home assessment and reduce the energy cost, energy use and emissions of the home
  • gain access to use the pilot tool.

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.

Accessing the pilot tool

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.