BERS energy efficiency assessments – what you need to know
Did you know that every home in Queensland must be assessed for its energy efficiency prior to being approved for building?
The method of assessment is called BERS. The BERS assessment considers things like the solar orientation of the home, how much insulation you have in your home and cross ventilation.
In most cases, the BERS assessment is carried out or organised to be carried out by your builder.
1. Ensure your build contract has a guarantee that no additional costs will be added to your home to meet the energy efficiency requirements.
There may be builders that will get you to enter into a build contract prior to the energy assessment being completed then tell you after you are locked in that you will need to add anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 to meet the requirements. An experienced builder should be able to know roughly what the requirements are going to be before the assessment. Therefore, they should be able to offer you a guarantee of no additional costs added during your build.
2. Organise an independent energy efficiency assessment at the end of the build prior to making the final payment of your home.
This may be carried out by a private certifier or another qualified inspector. We suggest you request this inspection at contract signing before any construction has commenced and get a clause in your contract that allows you to do so. It is important to have an assessment completed at the end of the build because there is no required physical check carried out on any residential homes in QLD. It is estimated that 80% of all new homes being built in QLD are not being built to the specifications to meet the energy efficiency requirements.
3. Don’t let the builder do an in house BERS assessment.
We suggest the report is undertaken by a private certifier or an independent qualified person. As you can imagine, if the builder has one of its employees or somebody closely associated with the company complete the assessment, there is naturally going to be a bias in the report. In most situations, you are going to end up with a less energy efficient house costing you a lot more money in your heating and cooling bills and generally making the home less enjoyable to live in.
We hope this information has helped you and if you have any further questions, shoot them through to us!