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The challenge

Making sense of home energy efficiency

The case for energy efficient housing in Australia is clear.

Residential houses and apartments account for 23 per cent of Australia’s total electricity use and 11 per cent of carbon emissions. Energy efficient homes are more comfortable, sustainable and affordable.

There is growing demand for residential energy efficiency data in Australia.

But understanding home energy efficiency is not always straightforward.

While ~80 per cent of new homes in Australia are measured by the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS), energy efficiency data for established homes is limited, and gaining these insights can be complex, costly and time-consuming.

Raising awareness of home energy efficiency can encourage homeowners, renters and industry to embrace change that can lead to lower home energy consumption, reduced emissions and cheaper power bills.

Our response

Driving home energy efficiency gains

In response to growing demand for residential energy efficiency data, CSIRO developed RapidRate, an artificial intelligence tool that estimates energy ratings for established homes. RapidRate also estimates energy consumption and carbon emissions for lighting, heating and cooling systems, hot water systems, pool pumps, ovens, cooktops, plug loads, and electricity generation from photovoltaics.

The collaboration with leading property data analytics provider CoreLogic Australia, will leverage CoreLogic’s 40 years of comprehensive property data to assess the energy efficiency of Australian homes.

The ground-breaking platform will address knowledge gaps in energy performance data for established properties not covered by the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS). NatHERS was introduced in 1993 to provide a standardised approach and regulatory framework for assessing the energy efficiency of new residential homes. NatHERS data from 1.1 million homes was used to train and evaluate the RapidRate model, ensuring consistency between systems.

CSIRO’s RapidRate offers a range of potential economic, climate and social benefits, such as supporting national emission reductions and aligning with pathways to net zero by 2050.

Initially, CoreLogic will use RapidRate to rate the houses that are in the mortgage portfolios of their banking clients. The banks will use RapidRate data to assess the GHG/ carbon emissions status of their portfolios of homes. They will use this information to assess the potential for green-themed lending products to support property improvements.

CoreLogic will be extending use of RapidRate into other sectors, beyond the banks, in the future.

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