One of the biggest issues we find in the home and commercial building energy rating industry is the huge discrepancy in pricing and turn-around times for a report. Energy rating businesses can take advantage of a lack of industry regulation and marketplace understanding around what a good energy rating should deliver.
This bears the question: What should an accurate and helpful Energy Rating Report look like and detail?
Unfortunately, not all energy rating reports are created equal. We are often contacted to review reports after designers and builders discover issues that result from recommendations not being viable. This may mean extra costs because of un-buildable specifications.
Below we detail what you should expect from a good energy rating report that has helpful and buildable specifications that will deliver long-term energy savings and occupier comfort.
This should also, hopefully, provide clarity as to what’s a reasonable price and timeframe to undertake the work.
What our Energy Rating Report details
At Floyd Energy®, we have two energy rating reports – Standard and Premium.
Our Standard Energy Rating Report is usually 6 pages of information plus the energy rating that will be achieved if followed.
Explanation of what energy rating software has been used and why. The method will be chosen to meet your State or Territory’s legislation requirements and in alignment with a discussion about your needs.
- Summary of Results
This is usually one page of initial assumptions and inclusions from our discussion and your submitted plan and/or design and will detail specifications for:
> External walls
> Internal walls
- Other information such as lighting, doors, floor coverings, doors, fans.
- Initial results
The energy rating result with the current specifications and assumptions. (Heating and cooling in energy requirements MJ/m2.annum.)
- Recommendations to achieve a 6 star rating
Usually three pages of detailed information on suggested material choices with comments/explanations and the energy rating these will deliver if implemented. (Heating and cooling in energy requirements MJ/m2.annum.)
- Specifications with explanation will include:
> Walls (external and internal)
> Roof and Ceilings
> Windows: System performance (Ux & sHGCw) and typical system (glaze, material type) for each room and location.
> Draught sealing/Air leakage (fans, lights, doors)
- Other explanations in the report include passive design factors including:
> Overshadowing from adjacent buildings
> Insulation and Bulk insulation products
> Building sealings
> Exhaust fans
Our Premium Energy Rating Report includes all the above but with an extra page of further detail and analysis of the thermal elements pertaining to your project, such as glazing, insulation, shading, ventilation, thermal mass. This provides you with a greater understanding of how and why we’ve achieved the energy rating and the recommendations to deliver greater energy efficiency.
We’ve detailed a good report, we need to also discuss an unhelpful one.
We’ve seen them time and time again; a simplistic one-page report that only details the requirements for a home or commercial building to reach a minimum 6 star rating. That’s it.
They usually only detail one recommendation for each energy rating criteria (windows, ceilings, walls, slabs, etc) irrelevant of whether the material specifications can be sourced or built with your specific design and/or plan.
The biggest issue, usually, is the lack of material options for different locations of the home/building. For example, one window recommendation regardless of the building positioning.
There’s no clarity what method is used to calculate the rating or why. There’s no clarification of the starting (submitted) design/plan and what rating these would deliver. There’s no clear recommendations of how to increase the star rating to achieve the minimum 6 star rating requirement.
We must clarify that this type of report will meet a building permit application requirements, but is unlikely to be helpful in delivering a house or building that is actually energy efficient.
What's the value in an accurate energy rating report?
If your quote is offering a report at a low cost and delivery time within 24 hours, consider what you’ll receive - what can possibly be analysed and assessed for that cost & time. Then consider the extra spend now on an accurate rating report and how that will save you in the long run and ultimately increase the value of the property itself.
If you're interested in the latter, we'd love to hear from you!