Taking a user-led approach to defining the detailed objectives, functional requirements and costs of a home energy rating system .

Client: NSW Office of Environment and Heritage

The challenge

The NSW government was interested in the findings of a project Common Capital delivered for CSIRO and the CRC for Low Carbon Living looking into feasibility of a national energy rating system for residential buildings, and wanted to research the market capability to deliver a residential energy rating scheme in NSW.

Their aim was to determine the functional requirements of a system and test the market capability for delivery, including the development of detailed costing information which would be required to seek Government approval.

Our approach

Common Capital has significant experience in the design and delivery of rating systems, and understand why they both succeed and fail. Tools that are over-engineered and technical can often fail, so for this project we wanted to ensure that user requirements were at the forefront of the specifications.

To give the project the highest chance of succeeding, we worked with the government to clearly define how the tool could achieve energy savings.

We then took a user-led design thinking approach to its development, working with the key stakeholders who would use and deliver the ratings, through interviews and workshops, to develop the functional requirements.

We developed a program logic, market structural analysis, stakeholder needs analysis, business component model and an EOI to test market capacity of a voluntary rating system.

We also developed software requirements for the rating system to deliver the needs identified by users in the workshops, and documentation to support an EOI to test the market capacity to develop and deliver components of such a system.

The outcome

The final EOI gave the NSW government the information they needed to develop a detailed proposal and costings, for Cabinet consideration. The Cabinet approved public consultation on the proposal and the government is considering its next steps.