NatHERS In Home FAQs

Created by Vicki Marshall, Modified on Tue, 8 Nov, 2022 at 11:57 AM by Vicki Marshall

What is NatHERS In Home?


For almost 30 years, the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) ( has provided 

energy performance ratings for new Australian homes, making them more energy efficient and comfortable to live in.  

NatHERS will soon establish the systems to include ‘In Home’ energy performance ratings for established homes, which do not require house plans and building specifications. 

The National Scorecard Initiative (the Scorecard) is already offering ratings and will be phased into NatHERS to facilitate the introduction of nationally consistent in home energy assessments under NatHERS. 

What is the National Scorecard? 

The National Scorecard has been developed to provide an energy rating for established homes. It provides consistent, objective and robust ratings. People are able to compare energy costs between houses and gain an understanding of how they can improve the comfort of their home and reduce energy bills. 

Scorecard assessors are accredited by government. They have existing qualifications and/or skills and experience and undertake training before passing an exam to become accredited. Assessors are not employed by government and set their own fees.

Anyone wanting to improve the energy performance of their home can engage a Scorecard assessor. This may be before a major renovation, or when selling or buying a property.  

Assessors visit a home and record data in the Scorecard tool. They then produce a certificate before going through the results with the householder, making expert recommendations based on individual needs and circumstances. 

The Scorecard is currently endorsed by NatHERS as an in home tool. 

What are the benefits for households of getting a home energy rating for established homes? 

Voluntary in home energy assessments help make homes more comfortable to live in and help to reduce energy use and costs. An assessor visits a home to collect data about the home before providing advice on cost-effective upgrades and their use, which will improve the home’s energy performance. 

Assessments consider the comfort of the home in hot and cold weather extremes and the energy used by major fixed appliances, such as air conditioners, heaters and hot water systems.

Learn more about the benefits and costs associated with an in home assessment at: 

Are NatHERS assessors the same as National Scorecard assessors? 

No. NatHERS assessors use floor plans and building specifications to assess and provide an energy rating for a new home or major renovation. A home visit is not required.  

A National Scorecard in home assessment does not require floor plans. A trained and accredited assessor visits a home. Information is collected and used to provide the home’s energy rating. An assessment typically ranges from $250 to $500 and takes around 2-3 hours to complete. 

NatHERS assessors have the option of undertaking additional training to become a NatHERS endorsed Scorecard Assessor. Alternatively, people with high level skills and experience performing in home assessments, but no formal qualification, can also apply for entry into the Scorecard training.  

Find out about becoming a NatHERS In Home Scorecard assessor.  

How does the National Scorecard tool correlate to NatHERS tools?  

The National Scorecard tool has been tested against the NatHERS CSIRO tool with 80 house design variations in fifteen climate zones. It showed a correlation of at least 0.9 in all tested climates. 

The National Scorecard tool has also been tested against the NatHERS Whole of Home tool currently in development, which showed strong correlation across two house designs in seven climates. 

Once the NatHERS In Home assessment processes (such as tool accreditation, Assessor Accrediting Organisations accreditation, In Home Certificate, etc.) are finalised, further refinement will be undertaken to align the National Scorecard tool with NatHERS. 

How are the different climatic conditions throughout Australia considered in NatHERS In Home assessments and the National Scorecard tool?  

NatHERS In Home assessments and the National Scorecard tool can be used in all Australian climate zones.

The National Scorecard tool has been piloted and trialed nationally to ensure it is suitable to cover a diverse range of buildings, appliances and locations. Assessments conducted in tropical areas consider features important to performance, such as cross-flow ventilation and ceiling fans. Assessments in temperate climates consider features important to manage both hot and cold weather extremes.

 By early 2022, over 5,000 Scorecard assessments have been completed across Australia, with more than 80 assessors accredited across states and territories. 

For tropical climates, the National Scorecard tool has been tested in the field by skilled assessors with local knowledge in locations including Cairns, Broome, Darwin and Townsville. It was found to be suitable for use in all of these locations.

How is the National Scorecard assessment useful for Australian householders?  

The National Scorecard Initiative enables energy performance assessments to be conducted on established homes of any age or location, without the need for house plans and specifications. 

Accredited assessors use the government supported National Scorecard tool. Assessors provide a certificate with a star rating out of 10 indicating the cost to run the fixed appliances in the home, ratings for comfort and the main factors influencing energy consumption in the home. 

Accredited National Scorecard assessors assist home owners to better understand their home’s energy performance and provide expert advice on steps they can take to improve the comfort of their home and reduce their bills. The assessment certificate provides options on simple, energy efficient upgrades which are discussed during the assessment appointment.

Who is delivering the National Scorecard? 

The National Scorecard tool, training, accreditation and quality checks will initially be delivered by the Victorian government across Australia, on behalf of all Australian governments. 

Over time there will be further alignment of the National Scorecard with NatHERS processes, including transitioning accreditation to Assessor Accrediting Organisations. 

How was the National Scorecard Initiative endorsed by NatHERS?  

'NatHERS endorsed' means the tool, training and accreditation aligns with what NatHERS In Home assessments will require in the future, although some amendments are expected as requirements are agreed and finalised.

The National Scorecard Initiative, (assessment tool, training, and accreditation and quality assurance) was endorsed by meeting criteria and standards set by the NatHERS Steering Committee. The NatHERS Steering Committee is a government body that oversees NatHERS. 

The National Scorecard Initiative submitted documentary evidence for each criterion. The NatHERS Administrator assessed the evidence and the NatHERS Steering Committee endorsed the National Scorecard Initiative as having met the requirements.

Currently endorsed by NatHERS, the Scorecard is expected to be fully accredited and phased into NatHERS from 2022. Until this transition is complete, all elements of the Scorecard, including the assessment tool, training and assessor accreditation, will continue to be delivered by the Victorian Government on behalf of all Australian governments.

Are NatHERS In Home assessments the same as NatHERS Thermal and Whole of Home assessments? 

 The Commonwealth, state and territory governments are extending NatHERS to include ‘Whole of Home’ and ‘In Home’ energy assessments. Each assessment suits a different need. 

NatHERS In Home assessments are designed for householders with an established home who wish to learn more about their home’s energy performance, cost, greenhouse gas emissions or comfort. These assessments rate the home by collecting information from a visit to the home (in-home assessment). These assessments are designed to guide decisions for energy upgrades that can improve comfort, energy efficiency and minimise running costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

NatHERS Whole of Home assessments are an extension of the current NatHERS (thermal) assessment of new house designs. These assessments will incorporate thermal heating and cooling for the building shell, and hot water systems, lighting, pool/spa pumps, on-site energy generation, cooking and major plug-in appliances (e.g. air-conditioners). No home visit is required as these assessments will use house plans and specifications to assess the home. They can be used for assessing the designs of new builds and major renovations and are a pathway to comply with the National Construction Code.

What is the difference between the NatHERS star ratings and National Scorecard star ratings?  

NatHERS assessments provide a star rating out of 10. More stars mean less heating or cooling is needed to keep a home at a comfortable temperature.  

The National Scorecard star rating represents the average energy cost to run a home. It has a scale of one to ten. It covers the home’s building shell and its major fixed appliances, as well as any on-site energy generated from solar panels. Separate comfort ratings show the home’s performance in hot and cold weather. Efficiency ratings are also provided for the major fixed appliances along with the proportion of energy used by each appliance type.

Currently NatHERS (thermal) star ratings only indicate the energy performance of a home’s thermal shell based on house plans and specifications. Work is underway to expand NatHERS (thermal) to include the energy performance of major appliances in the home (e.g. heating and cooling systems, hot water system, etc.). 

Once NatHERS ‘Whole of Home’ and ‘In Home’ are fully established, the National Scorecard will be accredited as a NatHERS in home rating tool, allowing NatHERS to offer a national home energy rating system that covers both new and established dwellings.

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