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You’ve been keeping a close watch on those home makeover shows and now you think you are ready to tackle the

New Homes Required to Meet 6 Star Energy Efficiency Rating

As consumers, we have a habit of rating everything. Whether outspoken with our ratings or just sub-conscientiously, we all hold our own judgements of the goods we buy and the services that we have received. It really is just flexing our muscles in a society of freedom of speech.

New homes are also subject to such ratings, and this was made official with the National Energy Efficient Building Project (NEEBP). The main aim of this project was to support consumers, government and the industry to attain enhanced energy efficiency with respect to building of new premises, renovating, and any alternations done to pre-existing buildings.

The NEEBP is headed by the Government of South Australia’s Department of State Development. The program is co-funded by all of the Australian states and territories through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council.

In 2015, the COAG Energy Council settled on an agreement to undertake a National Energy Productivity Plan. They believed by improving productivity of our national energy, it would produce enhanced value from the energy which Australians use. This plan would also look to the future to help consumers manage their energy costs and, in the long run, reduce our country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

It is now enforced that all new homes or extensions built in Australia, are required to meet a six-star energy efficiency rating.

What is a home’s energy efficiency rating?

To help get your head around a few basics, our team at Accent Estimating have included below some details about this scheme.

Basically, an energy efficiency rating is applicable to the design of the construction shell, or the cosmetic structure; this includes the floors, roof, walls and windows. The shell plays a major role in the comfort of the interior and the subsequent energy efficiency of the building or residence.

Ratings are provided out of a possible 10 stars, and these stars are based on the design and what is undertaken to maximise the energy efficiency. The rating takes on board various influences, including the construction of the building and the materials used, the climate where the building is located, and the placement of the building.

What are some of the design features that might be included in a 6-star energy efficient home?

Some of the items that might be taken into account to meet the rating include;

  • Living areas that are north-facing
  • Making sure that walls and windows that are east and west facing, are kept to a minimum
  • Making the eaves broader and window awnings used to create more shade cover
  • Creation of natural ventilation and flow with carefully planned placement of windows and louvers
  • Use of insulation in the walls and under roof
  • Ventilation of roof using roof and eave vents
  • Glazing included on windows, especially for western-facing windows
  • Use of light-coloured roofing and walls
  • The inclusion of ceiling fans is welcomed inside living areas and bedrooms


The ongoing savings offered with a 6-star energy efficient building can come back tenfold. Potential savings for electricity costs to heat or cool a home or building are one of those savings. Generally, the interior environment of 6-star energy efficient buildings is also more pleasant and comfortable.

Planning on undertaking a new project? Don’t forget to submit all required council reports and council applications. Engage an expert quantity surveyor who can take care of all the nitty gritty and budgeting help for you. Check out our dedicated Section 94 website for more information.

challenge of renovating for yourself. Okay, so that’s great news. Keep in mind if you’re making any major structural changes to your home, there are often times you’ll need to check on necessary council reports, and gaining council approvals first. However, if your renovations are strictly cosmetic, then there is usually no need to go to these extremes.

Renovating your home can add some excellent value to your asset, as long as you keep a few factors in mind. Following are Accent Estimating’s tips and advice that will help you achieve a great renovation on a budget.

1. Keep the Return in Mind
Expert renovators, like Australia’s leading renovator, Cherie Barber, say you should aim to get a minimum $2 return on every dollar you spend on renovations. It’s a good idea to concentrate your efforts on areas that will offer added “wow factor” to your property.

2. External Wow Factor
A good starting place for renovation value return is outside the home. Cement rendering or re-painting the outside of your home can bring in as much as $10 to your original $1 outlay.

Often, gardens and external projects are left unfinished and these areas can benefit from a tidy up before you look to master anything inside. Trim up palms and plants to give them a refreshed appeal, look at getting new garden beds, and give your paths and driveways the once over with a gurney. You might like to consider some paving paint as well.

3. Small Things, Big Difference
Don’t forget about, or ignore, the small jobs, odds and ends. Cleaning dusty exhaust fans, giving a sparkle to doorknobs and handles, and re-painting doorframes, can all be areas that draw in the eye of the potential buyer. A little TLC goes a long to omitting a well-kept feel of your home.

If you are replacing lights, opt for energy-efficient types like LED’s. They might cost more initially, but they will recover their cost on savings to run them, which also makes for a better sales pitch too.

4. It Pays to Shop Around
If you need to replace something that is beyond repair, shop around for scratch and dent sales or discontinued lines that often offer bargain prices. If you need some minor building supplies, you could check online for used or surplus building supplies as well.

5. There’s an App for Everything
In a connected world, apps are never too far away. Check out some of these apps we found that could make your renovation load a little lighter.

  1. Paint My Place: check out over 30,000 paint colours from the best-selling brands. Just take a photo of the area that you need to paint and the app will offer a virtual view for you. Limited labour and fuss involved!
  2. DIY Handyman Toolbox: undertakes common handyman calculations; swaps between metric and imperial measurements; works out square or cubic metres, which is super useful when you need to buy materials for floors for example, or concrete and painting.
  3. Houzz Interior Design Ideas: search heaps of interior decorating ideas and save your favourites to a virtual scrapbook.


If you are looking to get an overall estimate for your renovation, you could employ the services of a quantity surveyor to run a survey report for you. With affordable and effortless section 94 council reports, the team at Accent Estimating can assist. To avoid those nasty renovation surprises or blowouts, contact us online to secure your peace of mind.