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The-Future-of-Energy-Rating-Tools-Part-II

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The_Future_of_Energy_Rating_Tools_Part_II_26_08_2020  


[Image appears of Anthony Wright talking to the camera and participants can be seen in the Participant pane at the bottom of the screen]

Anthony Wright: Well, welcome to CSIRO’s third webinar everybody. I’m very pleased you could all attend. We seem to have a large number attending again today with close to 100 people already signed in. I’d like to begin today just by acknowledging and paying my respects to the Woiwurung people, the traditional custodians of the land on which I’m speaking today. I’d like to pay my respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging and acknowledge all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders present today, also paying my respects to your Elders, past, present and emerging.

We have three speakers on for you today and I have to confess to some, a small amount of false advertising on our part. Unfortunately EI are not with us today speaking about Aridian(?) but we do have Gerard Turnbull, Ged Turnbull from Sustainability Victoria here to speak with you about FirstRate5. Ged will be followed by Ian McNicol talking about Sustainability Victoria’s Zero Carbon tool. And then April Muirden, from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning speaking about the Res Scorecard Tool.

[Image continues to show Anthony talking to the camera and participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

As usual the format of this webinar will be that the speakers will all speak sequentially and then we’ll have a chance to do Q & A at the end. You’ll see in your webcast that there are, to the right I believe on your screens, there’s a Chat box. In the Chat box you will be able to get technical support if you have any issues there and speak amongst yourselves with the other participants in the webinar. If you have a question for our speakers please use the Q & A box which is separate to the Chat box. Questions that go in the Q & A box will be forwarded to a speaker list for me and I will moderate those questions and pass them on to our speakers to be answered at the end of the session.

There’s CPD available for, for those sessions through your AAOs. Please don’t contact CSIRO for your CPD points. The CPD points are administered by your AAOs and you can go direct to the AAOs website or give them a call to figure out how to claim your CPD points for attending today. I believe that at least the absent ones and potentially the other AAOs will require a bit of a quiz so make sure you’re listening to our speakers and you should be able to answer that quiz without too much trouble.

[Image continues to show Anthony talking to the camera and participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

As I said if you need any help logging on or understanding what’s going on or trying to get better quality vision or sound please mention that in the Chat and we’ll have our helpful tech support people will be with you in a moment. So, first up today, we have Ged Turnbull talking about FirstRate5. So I might hand over to Ged now to share his screen. He’s got a presentation to run through with you. Thanks everybody.

[Image changes to show a slide on the screen showing a diagram of a house drawing in the background and Sustainability Victoria and Victoria State Government logos and text appears: FR5, FirstRate5 Upcoming New Features, Gerard Turnbull – Acting Project Lead]

Ged Turnbull: Thanks Anthony. I will just bring my presentation up. Alright, can we see this? All good. So, so my name’s Gerard Turnbull. I’ve been working at Sustainability Victoria now for the last almost two years. So, you might have seen me reply to some of your Helpdesk requests. And a bit more background about me, I’m a registered architect in Victoria, accredited thermal performance assessor, and also a mechanical engineer specialising in building physics. 

[Image changes to show a new slide showing a bar graph on the right of the screen and text heading and text appears: FirstRate5 – Upcoming New Features, What drives FirstRate5 development?, Helpdesk – Customer Feedback, Annual Survey – Customer Feedback, Ongoing Customer engagement, AAO Audi Data e.g. common mistakes/errors, Future tool integration – Cloud servers, Zero Net Carbon, NCC 2022, Whole of House Tool]

So, FirstRate5, just a bit of background on what’s driving the development for FirstRate5. First off, we get, we receive quite a bit of feedback around, through the Helpdesk and we take that on board. We have our annual survey which is fantastic at collecting data around what you guys want to see in the future FirstRate5. We have ongoing customer engagement. So, with any new enhancements we’re thoroughly testing them with experienced assessors out there and we tweak them according to your needs. And we also collate and reference AAO audit data. 

So, a perfect example of this would be the 5.2.11 release where we introduce floor covering displays, patches, and that was driven by the fact that there was quite a few people making mistakes around floor coverings and that type of thing. So, introducing that functionality reduces those areas.
As far as future tool integration goes, potentially looking at Cloud servers and the Zero Net Carbon tool which Ian will be presenting about after myself. And of course NCC 2022 and the Whole of House tool. 

[Image changes to show a new slide showing a house diagram on the right of the screen and then a list of FirstRate5 Upcoming New Features on the left below the text heading: FirstRate5 – Upcoming New Features]

So, some of the upcoming new features you expect to see in 5.3.1 which we’re hoping to release by the end of the year. We have stacked wall functionality, and I’ll go into detail about this in the coming slides. We have a Global Zoning Tab, so the ability to open multiple projects and do bulk editing. We have the ABCB Heating and Cooling Load Limit Displays and new Heat Map Display on the Plan Tab. So, being able to display Construction R-Values, the energy usage and temperature display, as well as introducing improved windows, library and filtering. And then there’s a whole bunch of other little small features to improve speed and efficiency.

We’re currently working on replaceable universal certificates. So, we’re expecting that to be released on the FirstRate5 portal within the next couple of months and it gives you the ability to replace a certificate, an issued certificate as many times as you want within a 12 month period. We’re working on a concept at the moment with Heat Flow Visualisation and also a Global Plan Tab, so the ability to edit multiple projects within a plan tab.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing a diagram of a stacked wall on the left and then information dot points about stacked walls on the right below the text heading: Stacked Walls]

So, the first feature is stacked walls. So, what is a stacked wall? A stacked wall can be made up of numerous default or custom wall construction types, stacked vertically on top of each other. So, this example here on the left, where we have, you know, we have brick veneer, rendered wall and then on top of that a brick veneer wall and then potentially, you know, fibre cement cladding. And at the moment you have to go through and manually split these walls in the zoning tab. So, this functionality basically eliminates that need.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing a folder within the Wall Construction Library on the left and the image shows the fields being populated and selections being made in the folder and text appears: What is a Stacked Wall, A Stacked Wall can be made up of numerous Default/Custom Wall Construction types stacked vertically on top of each other, Reduces the need to manually split walls horizontally, Top wall has a variable height and can adjust to the desired overall wall height if needed, Eaves, Screens, Wing walls connected to the Parent Stacked Wall will be automatically linked to the separate child walls, Windows can be located anywhere on the stacked wall]

And so here we have a new folder within the Wall Construction Library where you can create a stacked wall, give it a name, and then add as many child walls as you want to build up that parent stacked wall. So, you can add custom walls, you can add default walls, and then assign a specific height to those walls. The top wall is a variable height. So, in this example we’re building a 2400 wall. Once you’ve copied that to a project and you make changes to a wall, say you want to make it 2700, that top child wall has a variable height and can update accordingly.

[Image shows a house diagram appearing in the folder on the left]

So, once you’ve got a stacked wall in the project it’s just a matter of assigning it like any other wall and then any eaves, any screens, any windows that you build into that wall, all that property information around those elements are copied to those child walls.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing a Global Zoning Tab on the left and the image shows various selections being made and text heading and text appears: Global Zoning Tab – Opening & Editing Multiple Projects, Ability to open hundreds of projects at one time, Bulk edit any project property available within the Zoning Tab, Bulk edit of downlights/penetrations, Bulk Project Upload for FR5 Portal cloud calculations]

Moving onto Global Zoning Tab. So, this new tab, it basically allows you to open hundreds of projects in any one time and make bulk edits. So, this example here is showing opening 60 apartments and for example the architect or building designer might make a change around downlight sizes. So, you can select all those 60 projects, those levels within those projects, the zones within those projects, and select the downlights in this example and make those changes. So, the idea being that what used to take hours can now be done in a matter of seconds. 

[Image continues to show selections being made in the Global Zoning Tab on the left and then the selections being saved]

So, it includes most of the functionality within the normal Zoning Tab but applied to multiple projects. So, this might be updating insulation, it might be updating construction elements. This example here is showing updating all the window types. So, it’s just a much more streamlined process and once you’ve made those changes you can just save those files and we have “Save” that works in the background. Once you’ve made those savers, saved those changes, you can then upload those projects directly to the portal and that can be done in the background. So, the most recent testing we’ve done, we’ve been able to open over 1,000 apartment projects and run them through without any problems.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing data being populated in the various fields on the left and a diagram showing load limits, loads, star rating and energy on the right below text: ABCB Heating & Cooling Load Limits Display, FR5 automatically looks up the ABCB Heating & Cooling Load Limits Tables and are colour coded, Green – Compliant, Red – Non-compliant, N/A ¬¬– Not applicable]

This one’s pretty simple, just adding in the ABCB heating and cooling load limits. So, it’s just a matter of under your project tab you can tick on the display, select a star rating target and your floor type, the lowest living, living zone, and you have the limits displayed. And they’re colour coded as well so, green being reaching compliance, red being non-compliant and not applicable for states that don’t have those load limits applied.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing a Heat Map Display on the left and text heading and text appears: Heat Map Display, What is a Heat Map?, A Heat Map is a visual representation of data that shows the magnitude of data as colour in two dimensions, This can be used to quickly understand the dwelling model in more detail by displaying, Total Construction R-Value of building elements, Calculation results – Energy usage for each zone and estimated Hourly Temperature for each zone]

Alright, moving on to Heat Map Display. So, this is one that we’re particularly excited about. So, what is a Heat Map? A Heat Map is a visual representation of data that displays, or shows the magnitude of that data and a colour in two dimensions. So, what we’re, what we imagine you could use this for, is you could quickly understand a dwelling model in a much more detail by displaying the total R-construction values for all the building elements as well as displaying the calculation results. So, energy usage for each zone and estimated hourly temperatures for each zone generated by the Chenath Engine.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing a house diagram with various rooms coloured differently and then the diagram changes to be coloured green and information appears on the right and text: Heat Map Display/R-Values]

So, this is an example of what it looks like for your R-Values. So, we have, sub menu you can turn on at any stage and it displays all the different construction elements and you can toggle on and off the ones that you want to display. So, this is toggling between your roof and floor. You can also tick on and off walls, floors, windows, skylights and roof windows. 

[Image shows the cursor pointing to one of the walls in the house diagram showing red and then the image shows the cursor making selections and then the wall section changing to green]

So, straight away here you could see that there’s insulation missing in this wall. So, it’s perfect for quick error checking. 

[Image shows the cursor pointing to the legend on the diagram]

And the legend there is just displaying that green is showing high insulation values whereas red is showing low insulation values. So, overall it gives you a better understanding of the thermal shell and it can quickly, you can quickly use it to spot weak areas, so particular windows, or walls, or construction elements that have low R-Values.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing the house diagram with different coloured rooms and information appears on the right about the diagram and text heading appears: Heat Map Display, Energy Loads]

Moving on to Energy Loads. So, this is just a representation of the data that you see in the Reports tab. 

[Camera zooms in on the Heat Map Display drop down box in the corner of the diagram]

So, it displays things like your total energy loads for the year, your total cooling loads, your total heating loads, and then your cooling and heating loads per square metre. And it’s traffic light legend, so green showing the minimal, or minimum energy use in the zones and red showing the maximum. So, again it’s, it’s to speed up the process of you finding those problem zones, or the zones that need the most attention.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing a diagram of a house with coloured rooms and information about the temperature display appears on the right and text heading appears: Heat Map Display/Temperature]

And the final one we have included is temperature. So, this is reading the Chenath Engine files where it predicts your hourly temperature for each zone and we can now display that on the Zoning Tab.

[Image shows the diagram changing colours to reflect the daily and hourly temperatures on various days of the year]

And it gives you the ability to pick any day of the year and scroll through that day to see how the building heats up and cools down. 
[Image shows the diagram with the living areas coloured blue but some of the bedroom areas coloured orange reflecting the hourly temperature for the date selected]

So, it gives you that ability to predict heat flow through the dwelling. And what else is quite helpful is it gives you the ability to assess comfort levels. So, this is a perfect example of where you can see the house achieves 6-star compliance but on a hot day at 3pm or 4pm in the afternoon, some of those bedrooms have heated up to 35°C. So, this is where you could use this information to then inform the building designer or architect. Maybe those west bedrooms could use additional awnings, external awnings or shading or whatnot.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing a diagram of a house showing an example of a heat map display and text appears: Heat Map Display/Example, Quickly check Heating/Cooling energy loads, Quickly identify Zone that consumes the most heating energy, Turn on Temperature Mapping – Choose coldest day of the year and identify biggest temperature difference for that zone, Turn on R-Value Heat Map, identify weakest points in thermal shell, Add insulation where appropriate]

So, this is just a quick example, a very simple example of how you might use those three heat mapping features. We have a pretty standard house. It achieves 5.9-stars. And you’ve gone through, you’ve done your preliminary rating, you’ve maxed out your external insulation, you’ve maxed out your wall and roof insulation and the client doesn’t want to spend any money upgrading the windows, so you need to find the most affordable way to achieve the 6-stars. 

[Image shows the house diagram changing colours to reflect the heat map]

So, straight away you can then turn on your energy Heat Map and this house being in Melbourne there’s quite a large heating load and you can see it’s the kitchen and living zone.

[Image shows the house diagram changing to a light orange colour and the cursor making selections in the Heat Map Display drop down box]

You can then select a cold day of the year to find out where those temperature differentials are happening in the building. So, from this you can see the kitchen zone, or the air lock, or the unconditioned air lock there. There’s a 5°C difference between those two zones. 

[Image shows the house diagram returning to show the coloured rooms and then the image shows the diagram changing to show green rooms and the camera zooms in on the diagram]

There’s going to be quite a lot of heat flow between these internal walls. You can then turn on your R-Value Heat Map and straight away you can see that those internal walls are missing insulation. So, it could be a potential, a potential fix, or cheap fix to add some insulation to those internal walls. 

[Image changes to show the house diagram with coloured rooms again]

So, this is just a simple example. Experienced assessors would be able to see this straight off the bat but for assessors new to the industry, students, and more complicated houses, this is where these tools can really help. 

[Image changes to show a new slide showing a heat density diagram below text and text heading: Future Development/Heat Flow Visualisation, FirstRate5 is currently developing a concept for Heat Flow Visualisation, Uses a combination of the Chenath Engine temperature modelling and the construction properties of the FR5 model, Overlays a visual representation of heat flow density on the plan tab, Displays Heat Flow Density (watts/m2), Displays the Energy Flow through construction elements in watts, Allows the ability to test construction elements parametrically with real time feedback]
 
So, looking to the future beyond 5.3.1, we’ve been playing around with a Heat Flow Visualisation concept where FirstRate5 uses a combination of the Chenath Engine temperature modelling as well as the construction properties within the FirstRate5 model, and it overlays a visual representation of the heat flow density on the plan, which is in watts per square metre, and also potentially can show your energy flow through each construction element in watts. So, what does this all mean? It basically gives you the ability to test out different construction elements, windows, insulation levels, with some real time feedback.

[Images move through of views of a house with the FirstRate5 logo on the screen]

So, what does that look like? 

[Image changes to show a new slide showing a house diagram showing the heat flow density and the camera zooms in and out on various parts of the diagram and text appears: Future Development/Heat Flow Visualisation, Visualise Heat Flow Density during any chosen day]

So, here you could pick a day of the year, a cold day of year, this is the example, and scroll through that, the hourly temperature data of that year, that day, and you can see how that heat flow goes through the building. 

[Image shows text appearing on the house diagram: Building Shell Performance, Displays Heat loss (Watts) for each construction element, Displays Insulation Values (R & U Values)]

You can then potentially test out different R-Values within those construction elements. 

[Image shows new text appearing on the diagram: Insulation Testing, Ability to test out R values with realtime feedback of heat flow]

So, here playing around with different insulation levels, and you can see the live update of the heat flow through that construction element. You can also use it for error checking. 

[Image shows new text appearing on the diagram: Error checking, Ability to quickly find walls with missing insulation]

So, you can see there’s quite a large amount of heat flow through this, this wall here because there’s missing insulation. 

[Image shows new text appearing on the diagram: Window Testing, Ability to test out U values with live feedback on heat flow, e.g. Single glazing to Double glazing]

You can also use it for testing out, for example, windows. So, changing U values, playing around with single/double glazing to really optimise the building performance.

[Image shows new text appearing on the diagram: Improved understanding of overall building shell performance, Ability to identify problem areas and improve individual construction elements that would otherwise be overlooked, This could help save money, energy and ultimately carbon emissions for the home owner]

So, the idea behind this is to give you a better overall understanding of the thermal shell of the building and find those particular parts of the building where you could make little changes that would have a big impact on the overall rating and ultimately save money, energy and carbon emissions for the home owner.

[Image changes to show a house diagram on the right of the screen and text heading and text appears: FR5 Future Development, Have a suggestion to improve FirstRate5?, Interested in testing future FR5 features?, We want to hear from you…, Contact our Technical Support Team, support @fr5.com.au]

So, if you have any further suggestions around improving FirstRate5 or you’re interested in testing some of these new features, we want to hear from you. So, contact our technical support team at Support@FR5.com.au and that’s it from me.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing text on a green screen: Thank you, Together we will deliver the State of the Future]

Anthony White: Thanks Ged. That was fantastic. If I could just ask you to stop sharing your screen. I’m blown away by some of those changes. 

[Image changes to show Anthony White talking to the camera and participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

Much of the audience would probably know I worked at SV for a while on FirstRate5 and that’s miles beyond what I thought was going to come out of there. So, kudos to you guys. It looks fantastic and I’m sure there’s going to be heaps of interesting questions coming through about some of that new functionality. If you do have questions for Ged please put them in the Q & A box now and so they’re not forgotten by the end and we’ll queue them up and get him to answer all of your nitty gritty questions about where all that data comes from and how to use it at the end of the session.

Next we have Ian McNicol who is going to speak about the Zero Net Carbon tool that Sustainability Victoria has also developed. So, Ian I’ll get you to share your screen now if you wouldn’t mind and we’ll hand over.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing a photo of a windmill in a paddock and text appears: Sustainability Victoria, On line Zero Net Carbon (ZNC) rating tools, Presenter, Ian McNicol, Specialist Energy Efficiency]

Ian McNicol: Thanks Anthony and thanks Ged. I’ll just get this, OK, going. Yeah, hi I’m Ian McNicol. I’ve worked at Sustainability Victoria or its predecessors for over 21 years, I think, mainly in residential energy efficiency. I’ve done a lot of work on upgrading the existing housing stock in Victoria, and in the last couple of years I’ve started to do some work in the area of whole-of-house modelling tools including Zero Net Carbon modelling tools and that’s what I’ll talk about today.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing text: What we’ll cover, 1. Background of the ZNC modelling tool, 2. SV’s Tomorrow Living program, 3. On line ZNC rating tool, 4. Specifying the heating and cooling system, 5. Specifying the fixed appliances, 6. Specifying the PV system and battery, 7. Using the Tomorrow Living on-line tool] 

I’ll give a little bit of background to the tool and then we’ll talk about how it works. 

[Image changes to show a new slide showing background information about the ZNC modelling tool below the text heading: 1. Background to the ZNC modelling tool]

Where the tool came from is back in about 2015 I did a study looking forward to 2050 at residential energy consumption in Victoria and back then there was going to be, predictions were about 2,000,000 new homes to be constructed between then and 2050, and it was pretty obvious from that study that new home construction in Victoria had the potential to really drive quite significant increases in greenhouse gas emissions and if you could make all of those new homes that were being built, or many of them zero net carbon then you wouldn’t get those emissions and you know, we could then focus on other areas to reduce emissions. 

About a year later we got a little bit of money at SV and we used that, we engaged the consultants’ energy efficient strategies and they developed our initial Zero Net Carbon modelling tool and what we wanted to do was to understand what was required to achieve zero net carbon status for either existing or new homes and also what the economics of that looked like, sort of what it, what did you have to do, what might it cost, and what would the potential savings to the consumers be.

[Image continues to show the same slide on the screen]

The initial tool that we had was sort of a scenario tool that had, sort of, house designs programmed in. We had a small, medium, large house. We had a range of ratings from 2-star up to 8-stars and we could model the houses in either Melbourne, Ballarat, or Mildura climate and we could sort of define the appliances, heating and cooling, water heating and so forth, and we could specify rooftop PV and batteries. And when we started to play around with that tool we realised that certainly for new homes in Victoria actually if you had an efficient home and you had an efficient set of appliances in there, or reasonably efficient, then it wasn’t that difficult to, you know, put enough rooftop PV on the houses and make them zero carbon.

About the same time we got the opportunity to pitch in a programme. So, we pitched a programme into the Victorian Government basically working with volume, a couple of volume home builders to assist them, or work with them to develop zero net carbon homes and market them to consumers and that was accepted as part of Victoria’s 2017 Energy Efficiency and Productivity Strategy. And following that we got some funding and other people in my organisation have been managing that programme. We have a partnership with SJD homes, with Metricon, and also with Stockland as a developer to design, build and market these zero carbon homes.

[Image continues to show the same slide on the screen]

To assist with that programme we developed a new version of our Zero Net Carbon Modelling tool and this version was sort of quite a complicated spreadsheet but with the tool we could take the heating and cooling load data out of FirstRate5 when you assess the house design, and we could model the house over a full year and we could assess whether or not it was achieving a zero carbon status as we’d defined it. And the tool works fine. It’s quite a complex, in some ways quite a sophisticated tool but it’s very clunky to use. It takes about an hour and a half to extract the data out of FirstRate5 and import it into the tool, and it’s a reasonably complicated tool to use and we wanted something simpler so that we could more easily work with the building industry.

And so, last year we developed an online version of the Zero Net Carbon Modelling Tool and basically you can go straight from a FirstRate5 design, you can very quickly import the data and then fairly quickly do a whole of house, a zero net carbon assessment. But it is a simplified version of the tool that we’re just using to rate the houses in a zero carbon home programme that we call the Tomorrow Living Programme. 

[Image changes to show a new slide showing information about the Tomorrow Living programme below the text heading: 2. SV’s Tomorrow Living Program Requirements]

So Tomorrow Living, the people involved in this programme set up a specification so the houses have to be 6.5-stars minimum in any orientation. They have to specify the type and efficiency of the heating and cooling in both the primary zones, the living zones and the other condition or the secondary zones and there are minimum efficiency requirements. So, we’re trying to get these homes to be more efficient than the minimum regulated level in terms of the building shell, more efficient appliances than the standard sort of builder model appliances. They have to specify the type of cooktop, oven, water heating and lighting. 

If they had a swimming pool you could specify that in there as well although we don’t include that in our Tomorrow Living zero carbon assessment. They have to specify the size of the rooftop PV system facing in all directions, so what’s the total kilowatts that you’ve got in terms of rooftop PV. If they happen to have battery storage then that can be specified as well and taken into account and ultimately they have to have the annual greenhouse gas offset provided by the rooftop PV system, from the renewable electricity that it generates, has to offset the greenhouse gas emissions from the energy used in the home over a year to achieve the zero carbon status.

[Image continues to show the same slide on the screen]

And as part of this programme we also have a requirement for as-built verification. So, has the house been built to design. And there’s an air leakage check. There’s a minimum, a maximum allowable air leakage rates and it also has to have a check of the insulation integrities to make sure that the building shell has confirmed the integrity.

[Image changes to show a flow diagram showing text boxes with arrows pointing into each other with text heading and text: The on line ZNC design rating tools, FirstRate5 (FR5) House Design Rating Program, Hourly heating and cooling load data from FR5, Climate zone & House Energy Rating, plus area of Living & Non Living zones, ZNC Design Rating Tool, (ZNC status, monthly & annual energy use, ghg emissions, energy bill), User selection of fixed appliance details, user selection of PV and battery details]

So, what we do with our online Zero Net Carbon Tool, we start off in the FirstRate5 programme. You do your house design rating. Does it achieve the right NatHERS rating? It has to get minimum 6.5-stars. And then we basically extract the hourly heating and cooling load data from FirstRate5, the information about the climate zone, the energy rating, plus things like the areas of the living and non-living conditioned areas and that comes, we pull that into our Zero Net Carbon Rating tool where the user can specify details of the heating and cooling and other fixed appliances and also specify the size of the PV system. And the tool then undertakes a calculation, does it achieve zero carbon status, and it calculates monthly and annual energy use or greenhouse gas emissions or energy bills.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing information on the assessment of the ZNC status below the text heading: Assessment of ZNC status is conservative]

With this tool and with this programme we’re trying to be fairly conservative because effectively a zero carbon status is a marketing claim. So, we’ve built in a number of conservative assumptions which we think in most cases is likely to overestimate the energy use for most homes. So, we assume that the house has four people. So, 85% more houses in Victoria are occupied by four or less people. We assume that the house is occupied all day for its heating and cooling use. We assume that heating and cooling equipment’s installed in the main conditioned living zone and also the non-conditioned, the non-living zones, mainly the bedrooms for example. 

And we make some conservative assumptions about the efficiencies of the cooktop oven and water heater. And we also, with this tool we do a whole-of-house assessment. So, as well as the fixed appliances we’re taking into account electricity consumption of the plug-in appliances, the fridges and TVs and so forth. And we assume it’s a set of appliances that’s typical of the average four person household with stock average efficiency. So, these are, the assumption isn’t that they’ve just gone out and bought all new appliances, whether that may actually be the case in a new home, so these are the, you assume that they have the efficiency that’s equivalent to the average appliance in a Victorian home. 

[Image continues to show the same slide on the screen]

And we also make some fairly conservative assumptions about lighting and assume just the bare minimum regulated level of 5 Watts per square metre and the hours of operation, 2.7 hours per day, it’s probably somewhat less than that and then if you’re putting LED lighting in a new home it could be only 3 or 4 Watts per square metre.

With this programme we do allow both all electric homes and mixed fuel homes. It could be electricity and gas for example to participate. All electric homes are fairly straightforward from the zero carbon point of view, as long as the rooftop PV is output over a year is equal to or greater than the electricity consumption in the home then you’ve got your zero carbon status and it’s not affected by how the greenhouse gas co-efficient of electricity changes. But what’s going to happen in Victoria over the next couple of decades is that the greenhouse gas, or the greenhouse intensity of electricity is going to reduce quite significantly which means over time that the greenhouse offset provided by your rooftop PV system starts to decrease. 

[Image continues to show the same slide on the screen]

So, what we’ve done, at this stage in the programme is that we’ve assumed a somewhat lower greenhouse gas co-efficient for electricity than is currently the case in Victoria to provide an element of future proofing.

[Image changes to show a new slide on the screen showing text heading and text: 4. Heating & cooling – specification of system, Heating and cooling needs to be specified for two conditioned zones, Primary – kitchen, kitchen/living, daytime, and garage conditioned zones in FR5, Secondary – bedroom, other and night time zones in FR5, Can have either central heating/cooling systems, or separate heating/cooling for the primary and secondary zones, Specification of the type of system, A range of common heating/cooling system options are built into the tool, The rated capacity and efficiency level of the heating/cooling also needs to be specified, The on line tool indicates if the efficiency level specified does not meet the minimum efficiency level required by the Tomorrow Living program, Rules apply where no heating/cooling has been specified in the house plan]

In terms of the heating and cooling, you specify that, the type of equipment in the primary zones and the secondary zones which are based on the zones that you use in FirstRate5. And you can have either central heating or the cooling or the separate heating and cooling in the primary and the secondary zones. We include a range of common types of systems. In the tool we get people to specify the type, the efficiency level where that’s relevant, and also the rate of capacity because we do have minimum efficiency requirements and for things like air conditioners, for example, the range of efficiencies that are available in the market vary quite widely depending on the output capacity of the system. And the tool does do a check on that to make sure that what’s being specified meets the minimum levels and there are also rules that we apply where there are no heating and cooling specified. So, basically our assumption is that every, every part of the home, the conditioned areas are going to have some heating and cooling.

[Image changes to show a diagram showing various heating system options and their fuel types and efficiency levels below the text heading: Heating system options]

Now, so these are just the options that we have, common heating systems, ducted reverse cycle, ducted gas, gas hydronic, combustion, room reverse-cycle, room gas electric panels. Some are, some you can specify for either central or room conditioning and some are just for room heating options and some of them have efficiency schemes that allow us to specify the efficiency level that’s being installed. And for things like the gas appliances you can specify whether it’s natural gas or LPG that impacts on the cost of using the fuel but also greenhouse emissions.

[Image changes to show a diagram showing various cooling system options and their fuel types and efficiency levels below the text heading: Cooling system options]

Cooling systems again, we’ve got ducted refrigerative, ducted evaporative, or room refrigerative, are  the basic options there. 

[Image changes to show a diagram showing the heating and cooling operating profile and text appears: Heating & cooling – operating profile, Heating and cooling operating times are different to those assumed for a NatHERS rating, Cooling thermostat setting is different to that used for NatHERS]

In terms of the heating and cooling usage profile, what we assume for this tool is a little bit different than what’s assumed in the NatHERS tools which is really undertaking a necessity of thermal comfort of the home throughout the day. And we do, we have both the zoned and the unzoned profiles specified for the living and the bedroom or the secondary zones. And in this tool, we, for the heating, we assume that there’s no heating overnight. We’ve done quite a few studies of how people use heating in Victorian homes and only about 10% of the time is the heating run overnight. So, it doesn’t really factor significantly in heating use. 

[Image changes to show a new diagram showing various types of fixed appliances and lighting, their efficiency levels and fuel used and text heading appears: 5. Specifying the fixed appliances & lighting]

The other fixed appliances and lighting you can specify, there’s a range of standard cooktop options, gas, electric, induction and the oven options. Specify the type of water heating. The default for lighting is just 5 Watts per square metre but you can input a lower level. You can specify a swimming pool and if you do it will take the electricity consumption of the pump into account and you can also specify heating options with your swimming pool.

[Image changes to show a new diagram showing various types of water heating options and their efficiency levels and fuel used and text heading appears: Water heating options]

Water heating options, there’s a range of, again a range of common, you can have electric storage on a peak tariff or an off peak, you can have electric instantaneous, there are a couple of heat pump options, solar electric, gas storage, gas instantaneous and gas solar. And in this case, at the moment in the tool we don’t allow any specification of efficiency. We basically just assume a default efficiency level for, for the water heating, just for simplicity really. 

[Image changes to show information about the PV and battery systems below the text heading: 6. Specifying the PV system & battery]

In terms of the PV and battery system, you can specify the size in kilowatts facing in the main compass directions, north, east, south and west. It just assumes a standard slope for the roof and the PV output data is based on the NatHERS climate data. So, it takes into account the solar radiation and ambient air temperatures for that location and the direction that the panels are facing and it also means that the PV output is sort of linked to the energy demand in terms of energy being demanded for heating and cooling.

To achieve a zero carbon status, the annual output of the PV system over a year has to provide a greenhouse offset that offsets the greenhouse emissions of the energy used in the home. Some homes, I mean certainly homes now tend to be putting in systems that are 5kW, 6kW or even more kilowatts and distributors will often place some sort of limit on the export or the output of the rooftop PV system. And we have built in some features in our tool that will allow you to take that into account. 

[Image changes to show a new slide showing information about the storage battery below the text heading: Storage battery]

Storage battery, basically you just specify the size of the storage battery in kilowatt hours. If you have a storage battery with a PV system, it increases the amount of PV generated electricity, or the PV export that can be used in the home to offset mains electricity consumption. So, that lowers the bills but at the moment batteries are quite expensive and you do get some energy losses in storage batteries. So, if you have a battery with your PV system you need to specify a slightly larger PV system to achieve your zero carbon status.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing information about accessing and using the Tomorrow Living Tool below the text heading: 7. Using the Tomorrow Living on-line tool]

Tomorrow Living, what I’m going to do now is give a quick demonstration. Tomorrow, or Zero Net Carbon tool which we call our Tomorrow Living online tool, because we use it in the programme, currently the access to the tool is limited to the FirstRate5 raters that are working with our Tomorrow Living builder/partners. But you can access the tool via an online web portal. 

[Image changes to show Ian talking on the main screen and participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

So, I’m just going to stop sharing this presentation and I’m going to open up the tool. How am I going for time Anthony?

[Image changes to show Anthony talking on the main screen and participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

Anthony Wright: You’re all right Ian. You’ve got a few more minutes at least. I’ll come and give you a bell when need to wrap it up.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing the Tomorrow Living Zero Net Carbon homes tool on the screen with a list of projects imported]

Ian McNicol: OK, I’ve just opened up. So, I’ve already logged into the web portal. So, I’m not a First… an official FirstRate5 user but they’ve set up a dummy account for me and basically with the tool the way it’s set up at the moment, although as I said it is restricted to certain, a limited number of users, but basically if you use your FirstRate5 log in details to access the tool. And when you get into the front screen you get a list of all the FirstRate5 projects that you’ve imported and you can also just, I won’t do it now, you can open “Import file” and it will show you a list of your FirstRate5 files that you can import.

When we first set up our very complicated tool which was a spreadsheet it would take about an hour and a half to get from a FirstRate5 rating to have the data imported into the other tool. With this new online version basically it takes about a minute. Once  you’ve identified the FirstRate5 file that you want to import it takes about a minute to pull it in and when it’s, when that’s happening it’s basically creating all that heating and cooling load data and other project data where it uses in the, in the Zero Carbon Tool.

[Image shows the cursor selecting the first file in the list and then the image shows a drop down box appearing on the screen “Zero Net Carbon Homes tool”]

I’ll just jump in, OK, we’ve got our FirstRate5 files, oh what’s going on there? For some reason it’s logged me out. 

[Image shows the sign-in process being completed on the screen and then the image changes to show the project list again and the image shows the cursor selecting “View” on the first file in the list]

OK, let’s see, hopefully this will work. Yes, I’m going to go into one of the files that’s already in there.

[Image changes to show the Summary screen which shows the summary of the project selected showing the star energy rating, annual carbon emissions, and heating and cooling used]

And when you first go in, you go into the summary screen, if this was a completely new file all you would really see is this information up the top. It’s a house that has a 6.9-star rating. You can click on a link and get a view, actually see the FirstRate5 certificate and it gives you a little bit of basic project information. If it was actually the first time I went in you wouldn’t see this detail here.

[Image shows the cursor selecting “Edit design” at the bottom of the screen and then the image shows the page scrolling through the heating and cooling options and the cursor making selections]

And then I can go in and edit the designs. So, what you do, you’ve got all the heating and cooling load data in there already and you just need to go through and make some selections about the equipment. So, first of all with heating, does the heating system service both primary and secondary? Yes, so that would be central heating, or no, and in that case you specify your heating system in both the primary and the secondary zones. 

[Image shows a drop down box appearing showing various heating choices]

If we assume it’s central heating, I get a range of options. I could have ducted reverse cycle, ducted gas. 

[Image shows the cursor making selections to choose the capacity and the star rating]

So, say I chose ducted gas, I can put in the capacity of the system and also I can choose the, how efficient the star rating is. If I choose one that doesn’t meet our minimum efficiency requirements then it throws up that sort of pink bar and I think one here it's 5.1-stars. If I chose for example ducted reverse cycle, then they use an efficiency measure called Annual Co-efficient of Performance, or ACOP. So, I can go in and specify the ACOP of the system that I’ve chosen.

[Image shows the cursor pointing to the cooling choices]

Similar with cooling. I’ll just say again, I mean in this case I could have ducted refrigerative, ducted evaporative because I’ve chosen central cooling, or if I chose basically separate cooling in primary and secondary zones then I’d get the room cooling options there as well. So, I’ll just stick with ducted, ducted refrigerative. 

[Image shows the cursor selecting the capacity and the efficiency of the system and then the image shows the cursor selecting “Save and update” at the bottom of the screen]

And I’ll choose a 4. We also have a duct loss figure in there 15% which we use as sort of the default level. Once you’ve gone through and made some of your choices you can click the “Save and update” button down at the bottom and that will do the calculation from the energy uses that we’ve specified. 

[Image shows the calculations of the annual costs on the right hand side of the screen]

When we started off I probably should have pointed it out but initially we have some energy costs in there for plug in appliances and that, that’s just default sort of appliances and also lighting which is based on the home’s floor area of 5 Watts per square metre.  Because I’ve added in the heating and the cooling, you start to get the heating and the cooling costs and you’re also starting to get your carbon calculation up the top. 

[Image shows the cursor pointing to the carbon debt, offsets and net emissions values on the right of the screen]

So, my carbon debt at the moment is 4.7 tonnes and I haven’t got any PV so there’s no offsets and so I haven’t got a zero carbon design.

[Image shows the cursor pointing to the annual energy cost figures and emissions on the right of the screen]

And I can also look at the energy broken down by the different end uses. The energy bills which includes the fixed supply charges, and I can look at the emissions. So, I can look at different views, although what we find with the building industry is that most interest tends to be in the energy cost.

[Image shows the cursor returning to the left of the screen and making selections in the “Fixed appliances” section]

If we keep going I can choose, we’ll say this home has got a gas cooktop, natural gas, electric oven, fairly common, and for water heating, we’ll assume it’s gas boosted solar for example. So, I’ve specified all of those. We’ve got 5 Watts per square metre; we’ll say there’s no swimming pool. 

[Image shows the cursor selecting the “Save and update” button at the bottom of the screen and then the image shows the costs and carbon emissions appearing on the right hand side of the screen]

So, I’ll just do a “Save and update” and recalculate. So, again it’s added in the energy consumption of the fixed appliances which is your water heater and your oven and your cooktop and so forth and giving us an updated total. We’ve got gas consumption now, so we’ve got a supply charge for electricity and gas.

[Image shows the cursor making selections under the Solar panels and battery storage section on the left of the screen and new calculations appear on the right of the screen]

We’ll add in some rooftop PV. I’ll try 5KW for this one to start off with and so I’m just saying the debt is 5.4 tonnes and the offset is 5.3 so I’m not quite there. So, I’ll make that 5.2KW. OK, so now my carbon offsets from my rooftop PV exceeds the debt so I’ve got a zero carbon design. So, I’ll leave it at that. I could go and specify a battery for example but I won’t do that for the moment. 

[Image changes to show the Summary screen in the Zero Net Carbon tool and the image shows the page scrolling through on the screen showing selections and various graphs showing monthly profiles]

I can then go to a summary screen and I just get all the details, sort of a summary of all the details. That’s the equipment that I’ve selected to get my zero carbon design in different areas, the costs of the energy, the emissions and so forth. and you also get some analytic screens where you can get a monthly profile and it can be the cost, or it can be the energy. 

[Image shows the cursor pointing to the various monthly profiles on the screen]

So, the green columns is the offset provided by the PV and these coloured columns are the breakdowns. And you can hover above each one of those and get a breakdown into the different areas of energy. So, you can get some sort of insights into what the energy consumption of that house might look like over a year, whether it’s cost energy or greenhouse. 

[Image shows the page scrolling through to show various pie chart comparisons]

You can get a breakdown between gas and electricity and you can also get sort of these annual pie chart comparisons. 

[Image shows the page return to the list of projects and then the image shows the cursor selecting the second and third files in the list]

One other feature I’ll just point out before I go is it does have a comparison function. 

[Image changes to show a new slide showing the Compare page on the website and the image shows the cursor making selections and the carbon calculator showing varying figures]

So, you can choose, you might have a house design and you could try a couple of different, you know, appliance package options and compare them and we’ll sort of compare them side by side and I could add in the one I’ve just put in. OK, so it’s basically, it’s telling me what was the carbon status of the home, each one, what was the emissions, what was the offset, the house designs were the same but you can sort of compare, OK, this was the different appliance packages I chose and that’s how they compare against each other. So, I’ll finish up there Anthony and hand it back to you.

[Image changes back to show the Projects page of the Tomorrow Living page]

Anthony Wright: Excellent. Thank you Ian. That was my first sneak preview of the actual tool as well. I’d heard so much about it for so long and it’s the first time I’ve had a run through. So, thank you very much Ian and questions are rolling in for you so stay tuned.

Ian McNicol: Oh I just better stop sharing then.

[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

Anthony Wright: We’ve got up next April Muirden who’s led the Scorecard team since before there was a Scorecard team and through several changes of government and even more changes of department. So, April knows all there is to know about the Victorian Residential Score Card and is happy to share it with us all. I’ll hand over to April.

[Image shows April Muirden talking in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen while Anthony listens on the main screen]

April Muirden: Good afternoon everyone. 

[Image changes to show April talking on the main screen and Anthony listening in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

Wait a moment while I get my iPad to set up the presentation. It takes a few moments to, OK, are you seeing that?

Anthony Wright: Yes we are April.

[Image changes to show a photo of a female and male looking at the Residential Efficiency Scorecard on an iPad and a photo of wind turbine and text appears: Residential Efficiency Scorecard – 3 years on, April Muirden, Manager Scorecard, August 2020]

April Muirden: Excellent. Welcome everyone. Good afternoon. So, I [45.06] the Scorecard Programme at the Department of Environment or Land, Water and Planning. So, I’m going to give you a bit of an update on the Scorecard assuming you probably don’t know a huge amount about it. So, it’ll be quite a broad overview. 

[Image changes to show a new slide showing text: The Scorecard today, What we will look at today, Why the Scorecard was developed, Benefits of the Scorecard, Scorecard assessors, What the Scorecard covers, The Scorecard certificate, Scorecard features designed for assessors, Review of Victorian and national data, & what’s ahead…]

So, let’s see if we can get this to move here. Go back again, sorry. So, this is what we will look at today: why the Scorecard was developed, which you may be asking yourself as it’s the third [45.35] tool; so, why have we got a third tool? What are the benefits?; we’ll talk a bit about Scorecard assessors because I have a feeling you may be a bit interested in that; what the Scorecard covers; the certificate; some features that are particularly of interest to assessors that the tool has; we’ll review a bit of the data and we’ll tell you what’s coming up.

Now, notably this presentation will not be going through the tool in the way the previous two have. We certainly can arrange that. If that is of interest in the future maybe put it up on the Chat and we’ll get Doug McPherson, our technical expert, if CSIRO’s happy to do a host in the future, can give you a walk through the tool itself. So, I won’t be doing that one today.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing a couple standing in front of a house with a question mark next to them and then a drawing of a house and information and text: Why the Scorecard was developed, Homes are often poorly performing – uncomfortable in hot and cold weather/ high energy bills/high carbon emissions, Solutions can be complex - people often unclear on what to do or where to go to for help, People need trusted ratings and comparisons to act – according to published literature, Otherwise they may not upgrade/not be prepared to pay as much for advice and upgrades, Especially the case for existing homes]
 
OK, so why was the Scorecard developed? I’m assuming most people online would not think that these were incorrect statements. I think we’d all agree homes are often poorly performing. They can be uncomfortable in hot and cold weather or create high energy bills or high carbon emissions or often all of the above. The solutions for homes are often quite complex and people actually don’t know where to go for help. People actually need to trust ratings and comparisons before they act. 

This is according to the literature, if any of you have looked at the literature it’s quite clear that often people don’t trust but if they can trust a rating that can be compared to others they will often act just on that basis. If they don’t have that information on the other hand they may well choose not to upgrade on energy efficiency because they don’t quite know what to do or they may not be prepared to pay as much because they’re not quite sure whether the upgrades are really worth bang for buck. Now, this is particularly the case for existing homes.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing four videos showing a couple in a car, a couple looking at a for sale sign, a couple in front of a house, and a male and text appears: Benefits of addressing this issue, Action has positive impacts, Improve household’s health and energy use – cost, comfort, health, carbon emissions, Community – lower overall energy costs, lower grid stress due to air-conditioner load, lower risk of blackouts, lower carbon emissions, lower health budget, Energy efficiency sector enable to develop – especially for existing homes upgrades]

OK, so acting in this area, addressing this issue, the benefits are again, I think, no surprise for anyone on here, on this line, we can improve household’s health. We can reduce energy use, reduce the cost, increase comfort, increase health, and reduce carbon emissions. There’s community benefits if we can act on a whole building stock, lowering overall energy costs, lowering grid stress due to air conditioner load particularly in hot weather, lowering risk of blackouts, lower carbon emissions and lower health budget. And we can help the energy efficiency sector to develop, particularly for existing home upgrades, which has not been perhaps as supported as some other sectors. And you can see a picture of some of the products the Scorecard has to communicate these benefits to people because that’s quite necessary because it’s kind of a new area particularly for existing homes. 

[Image changes to show a male giving the thumbs up symbol and standing next to a High Efficiency sticker on an appliance and text appears: The Scorecard is, A voluntary house energy performance rating program for new and existing homes, A star rating for your home like your fridge (includes cost, carbon, comfort and features), Delivered by Scorecard accredited assessors with strict quality controls, Provides the householder with tailored advice on how to reduce energy costs and improve comfort, Focuses on fixed assets – they impact over a long period and are hard to improve without good advice]

So, what is the Scorecard in this regard then? Well, the Scorecard is a voluntary house energy performance rating programme for new and existing homes. Voluntary, i.e. it is not mandatory, it’s not to do with the Building Code of Australia for minimum standards for new homes. It’s a purely voluntary tool and it covers new and existing homes. It provides a star rating for your home like your fridge. The star rating is actually based on cost. So, unlike the star rating for, under NatHERS, [49.14]  per square metre, this is actually a cost based rating. There are also sub ratings of carbon, comfort as against certain features of the house. The Scorecard assessments are delivered by Scorecard accredited assessors and it’s quite a strict process to become an accredited assessor. The house, the assessor will provide the householder with tailored advice. And this householder is usually of an existing home, does not have to be, but in most cases that’s where the major gap is to get existing homes assessed. 

So, the householder, we’ll talk to the householder and give him advice on their particular house and how to improve their rating, reduce their energy costs and improve the comfort. It is, like many tools, focussing on fixed assets rather than things that are transient. Fixed assets impact over a long period and are hard to improve without good advice whereas often many transient assets already have rating schemes or people feel they understand them reasonably well. And there’s a picture of the sticker that you can get when you get an assess… a Scorecard assessment and a happy customer using that sticker. He got 10/10. He looks pretty happy.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing text: Further benefits of the Scorecard, If you can measure it, you can manage it, Comparative ratings are effective in driving action, Unique data on homes, Large dataset, mostly on existing homes, Collected in the home, with standardised collection, quality checked, Photographic evidence of key information, Already showing policy learnings (e.g. poor home performance in hot weather is the biggest single issue), Overcome cost barrier to upgrades, Robust government validated home assessment is useful to access international funds, or validate loans, Green Bonds, Green Mortgages, Environmental Upgrade Finance, We can now better overcome the financial barrier to retrofit action]

So, there’s some further benefits of the Scorecard programme. If you, the old saying, “If you can measure it you can manage it”. So, because Scorecard is creating comparative rating, which is useful for existing homes in particular, although can be used for new homes too, this can be a very effective way of driving action. People actually act when they are compared to others. So, that’s a fundamental learning we found in this area. Without being compared to others it’s really hard to know where you fit and that often stops people acting. 

With all Scorecard, as we’ll come to a bit later, unique data set on homes. So, we’ve now built a very large data set, large, hopefully will become very large comparatively compared to what we’ve had in the past on existing homes, which has been a hard area to collect data on in the past. This is also particularly good data because you’ve actually got assessors who are qualified collecting the data and it’s quality checked.

[Image continues to show the same slide on the screen]

This is not the opinion of a householder about how their house performs. It’s something we can really think is correct data. It’s backed up by photographic evidence. So, the data can be checked and therefore we’ve got some very interesting policy learnings from this which we’ll come to in a moment. Also, by having a rating scale of this nature, which is government sort of backed, this is useful for householders and other parties to access finance or validate loans. And we’ll come to some of those new opportunities soon.

So, not only does the Scorecard create data and help householders make upgrades because it’s a robust assessment but because it’s robust people are more likely to invest whether that’s financiers or householders. So, that means that financial barrier is, maybe not overcome, but we’re making progress on it. 

[Image changes to show a photo of an excavator on a house block and a photo of a female using an iPad and text appears: Developing the home assessor sector, Skilled and accredited Scorecard assessors – why?, Skills found to be required, otherwise errors made, Repeatability is critical for customer acceptance, Quality checks and penalties (if required), critical to maintain trust in the program, Tough accreditation hurdle, including exam, and all assessors audited after accredited, Support to improve assessor skills, Feedback from assessors to improve the programme]

OK, so the household, home assessment sector is also being developed by the Scorecard. Many people initially ask, “Why can’t people just assess their own home? How hard could this be? They could enter data in your nice mobile tool application”. Well, we found that you do actually need skilled and accredited assessors, otherwise the assessments are simply wrong. 

It’s actually quite hard to assess an existing house or a new house for that matter. It’s not as simple as just adding data into a tool and magically it comes right. It’s actually quite a skilled activity and unless you can repeatedly assess one house and get the same rating people generally don’t believe that the ratings are worth much, fair call.

[Image continues to show the same slide on the screen]

We’ve also found that quality checking is necessary even for skilled assessors and the requirement for penalties, hopefully only not required very often, but if required so that everyone can trust the programme and all assessors know that it’s fair for all and no one can really cut corners and get away with it. There’s also quite a tough accreditation hurdled in the Scorecard programme including exam for assessors and all assessors are audited after they’re accredited and regularly as they’re doing assessments. And again, this was found necessary because we’d actually found that to take it seriously and get accurate assessments we need these and people often [54.11] into the exam, even the very skilled assessors. It’s not actually that easy to assess an existing home.

We also provide support for assessors to build skills if they have some gaps and we provide ongoing feedback opportunities for assessors to improve the programme. Some of you might be aware we’ve actually got a workshop next Monday. So, for assessors, so if you’re really interested in this you can always, there’s some information at the end of how you can contact us. You can always sign up for more information if you’re interested. 

[Image changes to show a new slide showing a drawing of a house with various appliances which contribute to the Scorecard rating and text appears on the right: What the Scorecard covers, Fixed appliances, Includes contribution of PV, Cost-based rating, Uses average behaviour]

OK, so what is the Scorecard covering? It’s not dissimilar to the previous two tools that you were hearing about, particularly the Zero Carbon tool. So, we’re talking fixed appliances, PVs. It’s a cost based rating as I mentioned before although we do have energy and greenhouse in the back of this one. Cost based because that’s what we’ve found consumers have a strong expectation, they assume that a star rating means cost, whether we like that or not, because I know for many assessors that’s not perhaps the easiest thing to manage. It’s easy to manage the more physics concept but that’s what the householders told us they want and they said even if you don’t tell us it’s cost we’ll assume your rating is cost. So, we went with that.

And we use average user behaviour, not the particular behaviour in the home. That’s so you can always compare homes with other homes and you can see a picture of what kinds of things the tool covers, very, very briefly there.

[Image changes to show a Scorecard certificate and text appears: Scorecard Certificate, Front page, Star rating (based on cost to run fixed appliances), 3 stars is average, 9 stars is zero cost, 10 stars is energy positive, Hot and cold weather comfort ratings, Rating with and without solar PV]

I’m now going on to a picture of the certificate that is received by the householder. This is the front page of the certificate. That’ll give you some understanding of what comes out the back end of the tool. As I said I’m not going to give you much of an understanding of what goes in. That’s actually quite an interesting bit so, but not enough time today to cover that. So, you can see there’s an overall rating out of ten with an English language explanation, in this case one out of ten, well below average.

Average is three, 9-stars is zero cost and 10-stars is energy positive. We then have a hot weather comfort rating and a cold weather comfort rating which you can see below there, which is out of five. We use bars again because that’s what consumers liked. So, and it also provides improvement of options against those two ratings. So, they’re the two ratings that the house receives when you rate it without using a heating and cooling appliance. So, if for some reason you don’t have a heating and cooling appliance or some, you know, there’s a blackout and it’s not working, how well will this house perform.

[Image continues to show the same slide on the screen]

We then have a bottom bar which is a rating with and without solar. So, if you happen to have solar it will tell you what’s the performance without solar. If you don’t happen to have solar it’ll tell you the performance with solar. OK, moving on. 

[Image changes to show the information on the back of the rating certificate and text appears: Scorecard Certificate, Back page, Appliance efficiency, More improvement options, Further information – greenhouse gas emissions and energy, Other high performance features]

So, the back of the rating certificate, we then go through the various efficiencies of the appliances in the house, up to two appliances are shown with, there’s a bar rating against best in class. So, if it’s five out of five bars it is equivalent to best in class. It also tells you what, how you can upgrade that particular element of the house in very small text. There is the greenhouse emissions and energy rating. It’s in small text because we found consumers were interestingly not interested or sometimes put off by that data whereas assessors really wanted that data. 

So, we’ve added, that’s a recent addition. And we’ve also got something called high performing other features, right down the bottom left hand side. They’re things that are not part of the rating per se but the assessor has identified they are present and we have agreed that they have a benefit to the house. So, that’s something like battery storage, or perhaps trees giving useful shading. What else have we got there, non-PV renewable energy, if you just happen to have a wind turbine in your back garden.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing a diagram showing the Scorecard and text appears: Scorecard – features designed for assessors, Scorecard assessors use the Scorecard tool – designed for mobile devices, Optimised to enter data in the field, off plan entry also possible, New tool release has capacity to enter NatHERS data, if available, to reduce data entry time, Features to help assessors check results and select best upgrade options, including capacity to create certificate variations (to test impact of upgrade options)]

OK jumping quickly onto a few features that have been designed for assessors. So, there’s a lot of features designed for assessors. The Scorecard tool is designed to be used on a mobile appliance walking round the house and entering data through pull down lists with all sorts of default options and easier ways to enter data. So, off plan you can also do it on your desktop and you can also enter data off a plan if you do happen to have one. To be released any time soon, days if not weeks, days or weeks away, assessors can also use NatHERS data if it is already, it is already available. So, the outputs from FirstRate for example, heating and cooling loads could be entered rather than having to enter all of the zones and the measurements in the tool.

So, the original version was primarily designed for existing homes where  you have to walk around because we don’t generally have plans, don’t generally have a rating, a NatHERS rating, you walk around and enter the data. But due to popular demand if you happen to have a rating you can use that. We have also added in some new features, again, pretty much coming soon, where there’s some fields there that  you can look at as an assessor and find out what upgrades for example are most likely to benefit the household, that particular house and how much. 

[Image continues to show the same slide on the screen]

So, you can then create versions and certificates, you’ll probably see my Outlook pop up. I’ll make that one go away. So, you can see versions of certificates,  you can create versions of certificates as an assessor to find out to how to upgrade the house. So, it’s at 3-stars now, how do I get it to 5-star? This will give you some data to make some choices and you can create variation certificates that show how your upgrades could benefit that rating and have a conversation with the householder about that.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing a photo of a male talking to a couple while looking at an iPad, a male holding an iPhone up to a heating system, and a female and male looking at an iPad and text appears: Operating in Victoria since 2017, Nearly 4000 assessments delivered in Victoria, 55 assessors accredited, National pilot completed in 2019, First two years of data analysed]

So, some very quick data outputs here from how the programme’s been going. So, operating as a publicly available programme in Victoria since 2017. We’re up to nearly 4,000 assessments delivered in Victoria. Around 55 assessors are accredited and national pilot completed in 2019 and analysed the first two years of the data. 

[Image changes to show a pie and bar graph showing where energy is being used in the home and the house area of assessed houses and text appears: Victorian Scorecard data analysis, 1900 assessments analysed, Mainly lower income houses]

Here’s some, in no way will I go into the first two years of the data. It’s about an 80 page report where there’ll be a link on one of these slides you can see if you want the 80 pages of data. But interesting because it’s obviously a quite robust data set because assessors created this data.

So, we analysed nearly the first 2,000 data sets last year. There’s where the energy was being used in the house overall, area of the houses assessed. These were more likely than not in low income houses. So, you can see the house area is on the relatively small side. 

[Image changes to show a new slide showing two bar graphs showing hot weather ratings and building shell ratings and text appears: Victorian assessment findings, 85% of homes received the lowest possible rating for hot weather performance, 75% of homes would be uncomfortable in cold weather or costly to keep comfortable]

Some interesting findings from all of that data was the hot weather rating, which is how hard is it to keep the house cool in a hot spell, 85% of homes received the lowest possible rating. So, that’s a very interesting policy finding I think. For the cold weather rating, 75% of homes would be uncomfortable in cold weather or costly to keep comfortable. So, you can see predominant data towards the very low to low rating. 

[Image changes to show two horizontal bar graphs showing characteristics of assessed houses and text appears: Victorian assessment findings, More data available in the Flash Report on the website, https://www.victorianenergysaver.vic.gov.au/save-energy-and-money/get-a-home-energy-assessment]

OK, some more characteristics you can get out of our data sets. In the report, it’s called the Flash Report and it’s got a link on this page to where you can find that report. So, there’s a lot of, we’ve reported all the data that we think is of interest. So, the kinds of built form that we’re seeing out there, but I won’t go into that detail now.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing text boxes with householder feedback inside and text heading and text appears: Scorecard – Victorian householder feedback, 91% of customers were extremely or very satisfied with the assessment process & program, 52% had already taken upgrade action, 26% intended to act in 3 months, 51% said action increased home comfort, 24% said decreased energy consumption, 50% were not checking bill!]

We also report, we actually try to contact all of the householders, those that wished to respond, get back to us on how they felt the programme was for them. Interestingly 91% of customers were very, or extremely satisfied with the assessment process and the programme, 52% had already taken action, 26% intended to in three months, 51% who had taken action said they’d improved their comfort, 24% had decreased their energy consumption, but interestingly 50% of people weren’t even checking their bills so they didn’t really know which probably doesn’t surprise you. 

[Image changes to show a new slide showing a photo of two females looking at some paperwork and text heading and text appears: 2019 Scorecard National pilot, Trial of national accreditation, capital city climate zones and tropical, Tested tool outputs and improvement options, 137 Scorecard assessments, 9 more assessors accredited, Tropical pilot – Darwin, Cairns, Broome, Results are now published]

People often don’t look at their bill as much as we hope they would. OK, that was the Victorian data. In 2019 the Scorecard was piloted nationally, supported by all jurisdictions under the National Energy Productivity Plan. This trialled all sorts of things: the accreditation process, how the tool worked in all the capital city climate zones and in three selected tropical climate zones; it tested whether the tool itself as a mobile application, but quite technically complex, worked; and whether the improvement options, because it throws up all these improvement options, what you could do, whether they worked. 

So, you can see there where it was tested, 137 assessments were taken across Australia. In Victoria, because we’re already an active programme, we focussed on the real estate sector and did a bit of a pilot there. So, that’s why we’ve got Vic - real estate pilot there. Assessors were accredited in those jurisdictions as well, nine assessors. So, they actually took this, undertook the pilots in their own areas. There was also the pilots in the tropical areas were undertaken in Darwin, Cairns and Broome and those reports are now being published. We’ll come to that in a moment.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing a photo of a house with a Scorecard rating, a mobile phone display of a house, and a bar graph showing average sales of houses with and without sustainable features and text appears: Role in the real estate sector, Scorecard gives quantifiable proof of energy efficiency, Energy efficient houses sell faster and for a higher price, See video: tyyps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYxiHcfDWgk]

So, we won’t, there’s a link to a video there which we won’t show but it, because that’s really for communicating to stakeholders with what the value of a rating can be for the real estate sector and you can see the data there, not our data, about how advertising the energy efficiency of a home can make the home sell faster at a higher price. And you can see some pictures there of a Scorecard rating being used to advertise a house, which is what the pilot was. We used the Scorecard rating on, with real estate agents to advertise at point of sale to see how that worked for them. 

[Image changes to show a new slide showing text heading and text: National Scorecard pilot – Assessor Feedback, Assessor survey findings, Assessor thought that the Scorecard assessment was useful in 97% of assessments (excluding assessments with no homeowner present), Assessor feedback suggests that householders found the Scorecard to be very useful for informing and prioritising energy efficiency upgrades, 16 (of 21) assessors reported that the tool was better than others, 5 reported that it was similar, and no-one stated that it was worse than other tools, Assessors estimated that 84% of the householders were going to undertake their first and second recommendations and that 67% would undertake their third recommendation]

So, again with the National Pilot, we’ll quickly skim over some data that’s in that report that you can look at. I thought it would be of interest to this audience, maybe, what did the assessors who did the National Pilot think about the Scorecard? Now, these are assessors that had had no previous engagement with a Scorecard. They were accredited and did a pilot in their own jurisdiction, very much a trial, and said, “So, what did you think?”. So, 97% of the assessors said, well the assessors said in 97% of the assessments that that assessment was useful. We excluded assessments, in some cases it was chosen to do houses that were actually not occupied, so, obviously could not ask the home owner whether they found it useful. So, useful in 97% of assessments. 

The assessors thought that the householders found the Scorecard to be useful for informing them and prioritising the energy efficiency upgrade. Sixteen percent, sorry, 16 of 21 assessors reported the tool was better than other tools they’d used. Five reported it was similar and no one stated that it was worse than other tools they had used. Assessors estimated 84% of householders were going to undertake their first and second recommendations and 67% of householders would undertake the third recommendation. 

[Image changes to show a new slide showing text heading and findings from the householder survey findings (n+91): National Scorecard pilot – Householder Feedback, Scorecard national pilot reports, https://www.energy.gov.au/publications/report-national-pilots-residential-efficiency-scorecard]

OK, we also surveyed the householders, 91 householders responded to requests for survey, 89% of those householders said the Scorecard assessment was a good use of their time and they would recommend it to family and friends. The same percentage of householders found the certificate easy to understand. I’ll note that these houses, these householders were from jurisdictions other than Victoria. So, they had limited to no expo… generally no exposure to the programme or its communication materials outside of an assessor turning up at their house and doing an assessment. 

Ninety-six percent of householders said the assessor provided useful information on upgrades and the assessors were knowledgeable and experienced and gave good advice and 82% of householders reported that assessment motivated them to upgrade their home with another 5% somewhat motivated, which of course is kind of a KPI here isn’t it. That’s what we’re trying to do with assessments. So, you can see a link if you want further detail on those National Pilots. Again quite a long report published there. 

[Image changes to show a new slide showing the NatHERS logo and text heading and text: What’s next?, A national version of the Scorecard will be incorporated into the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS), so that NatHERS can provide energy ratings for existing homes, For the Scorecard to be brought under NatHERS, further work and consultation is required with key stakeholders to establish the NatHERS requirements for existing homes, followed by refinements being made to the Scorecard to ensure it fulfils the NatHERS requirements and is fit for purpose for potential programs]

There’s a separate one on the Tropical Pilot published there. So, moving swiftly on, you might say, well that’s all very well and good, what’s happening next with this Victorian tool? Well we’ve got, this is the official words on what’s happening next. A national version, version of the Scorecard will be incorporated into NatHERS so that NatHERS can provide energy ratings for existing homes. So, for the Scorecard to be brought under NatHERS further work and consultation is required with key stakeholders to establish the NatHERS requirements for existing homes followed by refinements being made to the Scorecard to ensure it fulfills the NatHERS requirements and is fit for purpose for potential programmes. So, you can see what’s coming next is national and part of NatHERS. 

[Image changes to show a new slide showing three house diagrams labelled with 1-star in the top right and information about what’s new appears under the text headings: What’s new?, Consultation, Restrictions, Scorecard on-line training and accreditation in development]

So, I can, for most stakeholders I think that would be considered to be a very positive outcome and I believe you may well have been involved in consultations on that proposal already being underway by the, managed by the Commonwealth. OK, a few other things that are coming up. So, consultation continues on incorporating Scorecard into NatHERS in the governance structure. This is a, please be involved if you’re interested. The, the programme does need to evolve to become a national programme and we would love stakeholders to be involved, we, the greater we, all of the jurisdictions would love your input.

Note at this point restrictions to slow the spread of Coronavirus, COVID-19, the Victorian government is currently advising in-home assessments for Scorecard are not permitted until further notice. That would be no surprise to any Victorians I think. Other things that are happening of a positive nature in this day and age are, you, some of you may be aware that Scorecard training and accreditation was very much in person. So, now we are moving to an online version. So, assessors can now train in the Scorecard tool from home. It’s an online, it’s now an online training acknowledging that the sector is partially locked in depending what jurisdiction you’re in. And also, online provides a very low cost training accreditation option that is more suitable for adoption across Australia, including in regional areas.

[Image continues to show the same slide on the screen]

So, the Scorecard training day is now a full day online, Skype training where assessors can ask questions and interact. We also have previously had an exam in the house. So, we’re moving that to an online exam that’s slightly more complicated but coming soon. 

[Image changes to show a new slide showing a road sign “New Opportunity Ahead” below text heading and text: Finance, Clean Energy Home Loans, Some finance institutions now offer discounted home loans for energy efficient houses, Scorecard ratings can be a means to demonstrate performance improvements, Environmental Upgrade Finance, Councils can now offer finance to Victorian homeowners, Loans are repaid through rates and therefore attached to the house, Scorecard ratings can be a means to demonstrate performance improvements to apply for an upgrade loan]

OK, other things that are coming up, clean energy home loans. So, some financial institutions now offer discounted home loans for energy efficient houses. And in some cases the Scorecard rating can be a means to demonstrate this performance improvement and help to attain that loan. So, be aware of that. That’s an important new thing for, for energy efficiency I think, broadly.

Also, unfortunately only for Victorian stakeholders, environmental upgrade finance. You might not be aware that just before COVID hit, the legislation in Victoria was changed so that local councils can now offer finance to Victorian householders. So, environmental upgrade finance is a type of finance where the loan is repaid through rates and is therefore attached to the house. Previously this was only available for commercial buildings. So, just a few months ago in Victoria this was extended to be made available for houses, existing houses. So, there is a potential here that Scorecard ratings can be used to demonstrate performance improvements and apply for an environmental upgrade finance loan through the council and then effectively the householder does not need to pay for those upgrades up front. And they get, they get paid off through the council rates.

[Image changes to show a new slide showing a Scorecard Certificate above text: Thank you, See the website, https://victorianenergysaver.vic.gov.au/scorecard, Contact, help.scorecard@delwp.vic.gov.au, To get updates, sign up to the Scorecard bulletin, https://confirm subscription.com/h/t/EA59FB2CA3BB26CC]

OK, so that concludes the presentation. Here’s some contact details. We have a website with lots more information on the Scorecard, the programme, and if you happen to suddenly want to be an accredited assessor there’s the place to look. There is an email if you wish to contact us and if you’d just like to be updated we actually have a Scorecard bulletin which updates you on all these kinds of things that are coming up. There’s a direct link, it can actually be found on our website that link but that’s a direct way to find that. OK. Thank you very much. I will attempt to stop sharing my screen. That may take a few moments because I’m [1:13:59].

[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

Anthony Wright: No problems. Well I’m might just ask a couple of questions. We only have 15 minutes left to answer some questions and we’ve got quite a few that have come through. Ged, you’ve been sitting there for a while listening to everyone else so I might start with you. One of our listeners has asked, “Will bulk edit function also allow bulk simulation and results runs prior to upload or will one have to rerun each simulation separately to see the impact of change to each dwelling?” You’re on mute but I have unmuted you now.

[Image changes to show Gerard talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

Gerard Turnbull: At the moment we aren’t running calculations for multiple projects but it’s something that we’re looking at implementing in the future. But the idea is that if you do have, say, in a larger apartment complex with say 100 apartments there’s no reason why you can’t bulk upload that to the, to the FirstRate5 portal and run, let us do the hard work and run those simulations for you. I mean the First, FirstRate5 portal is set up to do that. We’ve got over, we’ve got up to 100 calculation engines that can run simultaneously. So, rather than letting your local machine churn through those large apartment buildings you can upload to the portal to do it. But it is something we’re looking at introducing.

[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

Anthony Wright: Thanks Ged, and another query, with the stacked wall function how is a window or door fitted in?

[Image changes to show Gerard talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

Gerard Turnbull: You treat it exactly the same as any other wall. So, you can just draw it on plan or add it via the Zoning Tab and FirstRate5 does all the dividing up in the background. So, you just treat it like any other wall.

[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

Anthony Wright: Great thanks Ged. Is there any intention, Ian this time, to expand the Zero Net Carbon tool to other rating tools such as BERS Pro etc.?

[Image changes to show Ian talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

Ian McNichol: I can’t really speak for other organisations. I mean what, what we’re doing I guess with our Zero Carbon tool, I mean at the moment I guess it’s inherently linked to FirstRate5 and obviously we, our, my organisation runs the FirstRate5 tool and at the moment, as I said, it’s limited users, the builders we’re working with. It’s limited to Victoria. It only covers Victorian climate zones but with all the work that’s going on at the national level for NCC 2022, there’s sort of a national framework for whole-of-house rating tools under the NatHERS framework, and we’re participating in those discussions as you guys are. 

And so, in the long run, I guess the intention is to develop a version of the tool that can be as consistent with the national NatHERS framework, probably a more complicated version of the tool than we have at the moment. And that would mean they may be available to you know FirstRate5 users because that’s comparable to I guess other organisations like BERS. Once the national framework’s in place and the national modelling methodology is agreed there’d be nothing to stop them investing and, you know, developing a version of the tool that did that as well. But yeah I mean, fundamentally because we operate FirstRate5 I guess it will be linked to FirstRate5ers. That’s, that’s what we have control of. 

[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

Anthony Wright: Thanks Ian, there’s, there’s another question in the mix about whether or not, or how metrics will be provided in accordance with the NCC. So, how will the whole of home assessment be wrapped into one metric? I’m going, I’m not going to level that question at you Ian or anyone else on the panel. Instead I’m just going to say, we would really love to know ourselves. To the audience out there, there is a national process underway at the moment to try and establish how that will all work and there’s a lot of legal parts to it. So, as soon as any of us know we assure you we will know but right now it’s not here.

[Image changes to show Ian talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

Ian McNichol: And I guess one thing we can say is that I guess our tool, CSIRO have got a version similar in some ways, but they use hourly data for at least heating and cooling and actually for all the loads that are represented in our tool for every hour of the year and ultimately you can produce data that’s an energy metric, a greenhouse metric, or a cost metric. And, so you know the output’s whatever metrics are finally settled on we should be able to produce the metric and we know that the Buildings Code Board are, have this notion of a social cost metric which potentially takes into account the cost of electricity in peak, off-peak and shoulder periods and maybe the greenhouse costs. There’s a range of things.

So, yes, certainly the tools that are working on hourly data, we’ll be able to produce those metrics as well because we have data for every hour of the day. So, I guess, yeah, we’re certainly waiting, we’d like to see a decision made on that fairly quickly. These tools are quite costly and complex to develop so I guess we’re hoping that the decision will be made to give us plenty of time to develop a new version of our tool.

[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

Anthony Wright: Thanks Ian. We won’t go into that anymore because we could spend an entire webinar talking about how to compose these metrics, I have no doubt. And maybe our [1.19.36] will ask us to do that but [1.19.40]. The next question Ged, probably the last one for you. The heat flow model looks interesting, someone says, will it also model heats where it flows through ceilings and floors, it wasn’t quite clear from the presentation?

[Image changes to show Gerard talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

Gerard Turnbull: Yeah, the demonstration that it was showing was just showing through walls and windows and there’s no reason why we can’t also add in roof and floor. It’s just a matter of what that’s going to look like. So, there were, there’s quite a bit of testing to be done and how that could be visualised. Yeah, but that’s the intention.

[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

Anthony Wright: And maybe our listener could sign up to your user group [1.20.16].

[Image changes to show Gerard talking to the camera and laughing and the participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

Gerard Turnbull: Spot on.

[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

Anthony Wright: For Ian and April, there’s a number of questions have come in around how houses with no cooling in particular, but potentially no heating and cooling are treated in your respective tools. So, particularly around the issue of a house that may have no cooling device versus a house that has a very high thermal shell and a cooling device, how you compare those two scenarios, and generally how you treat more free running buildings or heating and cooling device free buildings.

[Image changes to show Ian talking and laughing into the camera and the participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

Ian McNichol: Do you want to go first April?

[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

Anthony Wright: Yeah, let’s give April a go.

[Image changes to show April talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

April Muirden: OK, no worries. I’ll give it a go. I’m not the uber expert in this area so yes I’ll give you the fairly dumb version. So, effectively it’s a very interesting and important question how this kind of thing is dealt with. So, the heating and, there’s a hot weather rating and a cool weather rating in the Scorecard to allow that to be unpicked. So, hot weather rating is, it’s irrelevant what kind of cooling device you have. It’s how the thermal shell performs in regard to comfort if there’s no appliance at all. Ditto the cold weather rating, how the thermal shell performs in cold weather with no appliance at all. 

So, it pulls that apart whereas you then have a rating for both the heating and cooling appliance separately on the back page of that Scorecard certificate you saw. So, then you can compo…, you can pull apart, the assessor can pull apart and compose what, how things should be best managed. So, for example if you choose to have a really high thermal performance and no heating and cooling device, that will be apparent rather than it being, if you like, mulched up in one big rating, and very hard to explain to people why this house may be looking in a certain way.

[Image continues to show April talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

Also, good reasons why we need skilled assessors because however you do this it is hard to explain particularly across climate zones, how all these house features run, fixed with, with fixed cooling, without fixed cooling. Is that partially or fully answering the question, or I’ll hand over to Ian and he may add to that.

[Image changes to show Ian talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

Ian McNichol: But yeah, so we, I mean ours is I guess a rating where, and we are fairly conservative because it’s effectively a marketing claim. So, our assumption to be conservative is that the main living areas and also the secondary areas, mainly the bedrooms I guess, all those are going to have heating and cooling even if they’re not specified at the design stage and I guess even though the house might not be built with its own air conditioner in a bedroom that householder might choose to install one later. So, I guess we’re trying to ensure that the rooftop PV system that’s installed when the house is first built will be, you know, have an adequate size to ensure that, there’s a reasonable chance that the house is going to have a zero carbon status even if there’s nothing specified and the household installs one later.

So, I can’t remember the exact details. It’s not so much directly built into our tool but we do have a set of rating guidelines when you’re using your tool for zero net carbon assessment. So, say for example if you specified a room air conditioner in the living room and an air conditioner in the main bedroom as a separate unit but you didn’t specify one in the other bedrooms then you just assume that the same, the air conditioner in the bedroom was the same as was specified in all the other rooms and that was what was conditioning that space.

[Image continues to show Ian talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

If there’s nothing specified at all which would be fairly unusual then, so for example if you didn’t specify any heating, if it was a mixed fuel house, we would assume a gas ducted heater with, sort of, a market average efficiency and if it was an all-electric house it would be a ducted reverse cycle air conditioner for both heating and cooling with a market average efficiency.

So, and obviously if it’s a really efficient house with fairly low heating and cooling loads then you know, maybe people will get away with not installing anything but the energy consumption would be pretty low as well. So, you know, but yeah fundamentally we take a conservative approach. But this is an issue I guess that’s caused a lot of debate on national working groups around modelling methodologies and I don’t think we’re, you know, it’s exactly landed on a final decision yet. As April said it’s a complicated issue.

[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

Anthony Wright: We’ve got only a couple more minutes. I’m going to ask two quick questions very briefly. The first April is for you and that’s about the availability of the Scorecard in the rest of Australia. Is it available for the rest of Australia and how do you go about getting an assessor to come to your house if you live in Gympie or Broome, not specifically Gympie or Broome but in another place that isn’t Victoria?

[Image changes to show April talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

April Muirden: That’s a good and possibly slightly more complex question than it should be. I think the best option is if you’re interested in either becoming an assessor or getting a rating is, your best initial plan is to email that helpline because we are in the process of going national. We are not national so there may be some options to become an accredited assessor or get your home assessed. That may be available now or may be available later in the year. But I can’t make, we don’t have any broad, agreed approach at this point. So, you know, lobbing the query to the helpline and we can, you know, talk to you offline if you had a particular interest because there will be options. So, I guess we’re transitioning to national prospectively over a 12 month period. So, under 12 months, so to July next year. So, in that time opportunities will arise I think. 

[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

Anthony Wright: Thanks April. And Ian you’ve got about one minute to answer this question. Oh, we may have lost, have we lost you, no we haven’t. This is more a comment and a question but someone says, “Fantastic developments, can you give us an update on the take up of the zero carbon housing offered by your project partners?”.

[Image changes to show Ian talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

Ian McNichol: OK, I’m not directly involved in the programme but they have built, there’s four display homes. I think they’re all completed now, there’s only one in Melbourne. I think at, as of March, there were 37 houses sold in the programme I think and ten of those have been completed and I think there were another 30 that were sort of effectively sold outside of the pilot programme. So, there is, you know I guess early days, but there certainly is, you know, the companies are being able to, to sell them.

[Image changes to show Anthony talking to the camera and the participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

Anthony Wright: Fantastic, thank you Ian. Now, we only have two minutes to spare so, and our answers to your questions seem to have generated almost as many questions as they have answered which is often the case. So, I’m going to leave the webinar open. I’m going to thank our speakers for joining  us. It’s been great to have you all here and I hope it’s been helpful to everyone online to hear from our speakers. I’m going to leave the webinar open for a couple of minutes for final questions to come in. So, if you have final questions please put them through. What we tend to do is try and go back to our speakers with the questions that come in after and we will then publish a, kind of edited down set of answers and general responses when we put the webinar online. So, hopefully you’ll have a chance to have all of your doubling down queries for April and Ian and Gerard answered in written form after the fact.

[Image shows Anthony continuing to talk to the camera and then waving and the participants can be seen in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen]

Thanks again for attending. I’ll bid goodbye to our speakers now who are welcome to log off and I’ll close the webinar in a couple of minutes assuming we’ve got all of the final questions. Thanks to everyone for attending and hope to see you at our next one.

[Image shows Gerard waving in the Participant bar at the bottom of the screen while Anthony smiles on the main screen]

Gerard Turnbull: Cheers.








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