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A home energy rating is the measurement of a home’s energy efficiency.  A home energy rating of an existing home allows a homeowner to understand the strong and weak points of their home with regards to efficiency. It gives people an understanding of the ongoing costs of running a home.

Just in the same way as knowing the fuel consumption of a car or seeing the energy rating on a clothes dryer can help consumers make a purchasing decision, a robust home energy rating can enable a home buyer and homeowner to have all the information they need at their disposal to reduce their running costs.

The report outlines where changes can be made to increase the home’s efficiency and therefore lower energy and water bills. Homeowners can then use the report to determine the most effective ways in which to upgrade the home’s energy efficiency.

What is happening in Australia?

Currently, all new homes in Australia must be energy rated; however, existing homes don’t require a home energy rating unless you live in the ACT, where it has been mandatory since 1999.

The states and territories under the Coalition of Australian Governments (COAG) have asked the Federal Government to receive submissions from key stakeholders for a national home energy rating scheme. So over the next 18 months there will be a national conversation about the feasibility of all existing homes being energy rated. It is important that you are well informed during this national feasibility process. So make sure you have your say.

What is a Home Energy Rating

We believe it is important that consumers are empowered to make informed decisions when buying, selling, renting or investing in property. Therefore Hicks Real Estate Sustainability supports a uniform national mandatory disclosure scheme, which would result in a national register of homes.  Simple and easy to understand and implement are the most important characteristics of any national scheme. One scheme and one tool (the name given to the assessment itself) supports property owners in knowing how to capitalise on their properties with energy efficiency. A piecemeal approach, with every state using a different scheme, makes it hard to develop a consistent approach to sustainability and property value.

The ACT – bringing an EER rating to life

In the ACT all homes, new and existing are assessed for energy rating at the time of sale.

An Energy Efficiency Rating, or EER, is a rating used to identify the energy efficiency of houses in the ACT. Houses can achieve 0 to 10 stars in the rating scheme. Houses with a higher EER are more energy efficient and therefore use less energy for heating and cooling, generate lower greenhouse gas emissions, are more comfortable and healthier to live in and have an improved sale value.

The EER report also outlines what changes could be made to increase the star rating of the property. An EER number, which is the star rating, is clearly marked on signboards and print and online advertising in the ACT.

A recent information flyer released by HEAT ( The Home Energy Advise Team) called EER Ratings Explained – 2012 July 12 simply identifies the relationship between EER and running costs ACT EER rating.

In 2007, the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) commissioned the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to produce a statistical report modeling the relationship between the energy efficiency rating (EER) of houses and house prices in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

Published in 2008 it looked at the case of detached houses sold in the Australian Capital Territory in 2005 and 2006. It modeling the relationship of energy efficiency attributes to house price and showed a direct correlation between the star rating. It showed that for each increase in half a star the capital value of the property increased by 2%. Of course many other factors influence the value of a home but it does show that the running costs as represented by an EER rating impact value to some extent.

More importantly perhaps is how using an EER rating can enable you to begin to understand how to take control of your running costs and capitalise your property with energy efficiency. As energy prices increase this represents a greater opportunity.

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Hicks Real Estate is a Brisbane based, full-service real estate agency supporting buyers and sell as well as renters and property investors. With almost 20 years experience in the local market, we are the real estate experts you can rely upon.