Department of Justice
Tasmania has had mandatory energy efficiency requirements for new housing since 2003.
From May 2014 the higher 6-Star energy requirements in the National Construction Code (NCC) have applied in Tasmania to all new detached houses or units, and any attached outbuildings such as a garage.
New extensions and additions to existing houses must also comply with the 6 Star requirement.
A Star rating refers to the expected energy efficiency of a house design. Stars are awarded on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 the lowest efficiency level and 10 as the most thermally efficient. The higher the Star number, the more energy efficient the home is likely to be once constructed, using less energy to achieve a comfortable heating level.
6 Star is the current minimum level for Tasmania while remaining cost effective for consumers to comply with.
In addition to achieving a 6-Star level for thermal efficiency and comfort, new houses must also meet new requirements for energy efficient lighting and space heaters.
REVISED Building Regulation Advisory Note 4-2013 (PDF, 5 pages, 123 KB)includes information on the procedures for the energy assessment of residential additions or alterations. Tasmania has adopted a simple and practical approach to enable compliance with the NCC without adding extra costs or complexity to the building.
A building permit is required for most new building work to ensure it complies with the NCC.
The designs of new homes and extensions are assessed by a building surveyor for the issue of the Certificate of Likely Compliance. This assessment includes checking for compliance with the 6-Star energy efficiency requirements.
An energy assessment of homes and extensions can be completed by the responsible designer (an architect or a building designer). Energy efficiency is part of their work as an accredited designer.
An expert energy assessor, who is not the responsible designer, can also undertake energy rating assessments using the approved software. They must provide a verification report, supporting documents and complete a Form 55 'Certificate of Specialist or Other Person' to provide to the building surveyor. However the Form 55 will only be accepted by building surveyor if that independent energy assessor is accredited by either the Association of Building Sustainability Assessors or the Building Designers Association of Victoria.
There is no requirement that an energy assessor must also be accredited under the Building Act 2000 as a building practitioner in Tasmania.
There are currently four software tools accredited under the NatHERS (Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme) available for use in Australia for rating thermal performance of house designs:
All software use the same underlying Chenath calculation engine designed by the CSIRO. BERS Professional and FirstRate 5 provide designers and assessors with alternative user interfaces.
For more details about these software tools go to the NatHERS website