Taking a consumer-led approach to devising a strategy for a national home energy rating system, drawing on national and international best practise.

Client: CRC for Low Carbon Living

The challenge

Providing consumers with detailed energy information about their homes had widespread support in Australia, including a COAG commitment to achieve it in 2001. More than a decade later no scheme had been implemented because agreement could not be reached by the large and complex network of stakeholders involved.

Common Capital was engaged by CSIRO, through their work in the Cooperative Research Centre(CRC) for Low Carbon Living, to develop and document an agreed approach for residential building energy efficiency disclosure.

Our approach

To break the deadlock, rather than look at tools, Common Capital took a consumer-centred approach, to fully understand the end user wants and needs.

We consulted with all the different trades and professions required to provide the information to consumers, and sought to understand their capability, opportunities and motivations. 

Using this information, we designed a policy framework and detailed program design based on the needs and capabilities of everyone involved in the system. We used Common Capital’s energy efficiency retrofit uptake and cost benefit model, to analyse different policy and program design scenarios and understand the public and private costs and benefits of a system.

Our analysis also included benchmarking studies of similar rating schemes both nationally and internationally.

The outcome

Common Capital developed a detailed strategy for establishing a national voluntary system to disclose energy efficiency information for households at the point of sale and lease, including an implementation plan, business plan, marketing plan and detailed business case.

Please visit the Low Carbon Living CRC website to view the final report.

Following the publication of the report, the Victorian Government is currently trialling a voluntary rating program and the NSW Government has publicly consulted on proposal to develop their own and may collaborate with Victoria to make the schemes consistent.