Victoria’s New Energy Efficiency Scorecard (And the Groups That Benefit from It)

For sustainable development, Australia’s local and national governments are introducing a host of energy efficiency initiatives. Victoria’s Energy Efficiency Scorecard is a recent one that you should know about.

The world has finally become fully aware of the fact that Earth’s resources have limits. This is why we’ve seen quite a number of energy efficiency initiatives. Australia is right in the thick of these initiatives, as many states have introduced their own.

Victoria’s state government found a great way to include as many people as possible in one of its initiatives. The energy efficiency scorecard has already passed both state Parliament houses. This means that better energy standards are on their way.

This is an interesting initiative that you should know about. To give you all the information you need, let’s take a closer look at the scorecard.

What Is the Scorecard?

The Victorian Residential Efficiency Scorecard is a home efficiency rating tool. It’s completely voluntary, but it might be a good idea to join the initiative.

Essentially, it helps households dig a bit deeper into their energy performance. Once the occupants can assess the energy efficiency, they can make the necessary moves to improve it. A direct benefit of this is the money you’d save on energy bills if you managed to do it.

Everyone who wants to participate can do so by contacting a private assessor. Once they do, the assessor will collect all the necessary data and give a star rating of one to ten. The higher your score, the better your household is at using energy efficiently.

Right now, the average score of a Victorian household is three stars. This means that there are many ways of using energy more efficiently.

This is a great idea for every household, as your score might catch you by surprise. The assessor will be very thorough in gathering data on:

  • Hot water system
  • Lighting, heating, and cooling
  • Construction materials
  • Renewable energy resources

Based on the rating, the assessor will give you advice on how to improve it. Many of these steps are in fact cheap and simple. The assessors are all government-approved for your peace of mind.

As a result, you can expect to spend less money on electricity and contribute to energy preservation. Overall, this is a great idea that can help both your household and the environment.

The Case for the Scorecard

The residential sector has suffered from a lack of energy efficiency tools for a long time. Moreover, there were no ways of actually determining the efficiency. The main reason for this was the many barriers that formed.

To address these barriers, the Victorian government decided to create the scorecard. This is the first accepted method for determining the energy usage of a household.

It introduced a standard that homeowners are able to follow. The scorecard should be able to help homeowners reduce energy costs and comply with certain standards.

This isn’t the first tool that addresses this issue. Many of them have seen the light of day but are unable to address energy costs and comfort directly.

The Nationwide House Energy Rating System (NatHERS) is a good example. This is a design tool that inspects the building shell of houses. However, it does nothing in terms of determining energy costs.

In contrast, the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) is a good rating tool for commercial buildings such as hotels, hospitals, and other building types. Unfortunately, it’s not applicable to residential property.

For this reason, the Government of Victoria decided to create a tool that would specifically address these issues. There are many references that supported the development of this methodology.

The Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living surveyed stakeholders’ opinions on this. They summarised the surveys and came to the conclusion that there was a high demand for information about energy performance.

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy gave an opinion as well. In the paper Residential Energy Use Disclosure: A Guide for Policymakers, the council concludes that it’s necessary to have a tool that can assess energy efficiency at home.

Finally, the Victorian government has developed such a tool. As mentioned, its aim is to address the main energy efficiency barriers. Let’s take a look at some of them.

The Barriers to Residential Energy Efficiency

As mentioned, a number of barriers prevent the government from measuring energy efficiency. The first one is the lack of clear information on energy performance. Without it, the residents can’t understand how their actions affect energy efficiency.

This also makes it hard to find ways of saving energy. This is because there is no insight on the way fixed elements use energy.

Another barrier is the quality of information that buyers and renters receive. There is no way for them to take energy efficiency into account while deciding whether to buy a property. As a result, vendors and landlords have no incentive to invest in upgrades.

An information asymmetry between buyers and sellers of energy efficient products is also an issue. Buyers have a hard time understanding how the upgrades would help. At the same time, sellers can’t come up with a convincing enough argument for buying them.

Lastly, split incentives present a big issue. Tenants who pay energy bills tend not to invest in energy efficient upgrades to a property owned by somebody else. At the same time, they can’t convince the landlords to do it either.

The combined effect of all this is very negative. It prevents homeowners from ensuring high energy efficiency in their properties.

Thankfully, the scorecard should overcome these barriers and yield many great results.

The Benefits of the Scorecard

There are many upsides to assessing energy performance and costs. First of all, it helps homeowners get a clear overview of the way their home uses energy. With this information, they can prioritise different upgrades. This will ensure that the entire home is more energy efficient and reduce energy costs.

Property vendors can also benefit from this system. By showcasing their rating, they can let the buyers know that their homes are energy efficient. This will send a positive message, which is likely to attract more buyers.

Home buyers will also be able to make smarter decisions. Energy efficiency is likely to become an important factor, since they’d have to pay for energy use. Thanks to the scorecard, they’ll be able to compare the ratings of different properties and choose accordingly.

It also helps sellers of energy efficiency solutions to market their products. With a concrete rating system, they can prove that their products and services can benefit the buyers. This will also help buyers understand these solutions better. The effect of this would be a much stronger market for energy efficiency upgrades.

This also gives the manufacturers of such solutions an opportunity to make their products stand out. A clear rating can help them add value to their products. This will allow them to better target specific niches.

As for the bigger picture, the scorecard can help the Victorian government a lot. It generates robust data on the state of the housing stock. This will help the government develop more energy efficiency strategies. Thanks to this method, the strategies are likely to be clearer than previous efforts.

There’s also a better way for the government to measure the progress. This can only help create a better set of moves that will help it reach its goals.

The entire property market is facing a transformation. Energy efficiency is likely to become a major factor in many processes. Pretty much every player in this market will have to focus on it. Energy performance is something that all of them will have to take into account while doing their jobs.

As you can see, there are a lot of benefits to the scorecard. Not everyone will notice these changes immediately. Still, it’s only a matter of time until most people start caring about energy efficiency.

What Does Your Certificate Show You?

Even though it’s not mandatory, completing the scorecard can prove very useful. You’ll be taking the first step towards better energy efficiency.

Here’s what every participating homeowner will receive:

  • An overall rating representing the average energy cost of the household
  • An insight into how well the key elements of the house are performing
  • Information about the way the household performs in hot conditions
  • A variety of ideas for improving the overall score

This can answer a lot of questions that you didn’t even know you wanted answers for. For example, it can compare the performance of your appliances with the highest rated ones available. This can help you figure out whether you should go for an upgrade.

The hot weather rating can also be a useful piece of information. It shows whether your home will be comfortable in hot weather if you don’t have any cooling devices. This can be especially helpful to people looking to buy a home for the first time.

If you need any help with improving your rating, the assessor can offer many ideas. Keep in mind that the scorecard expires as soon as you make any upgrades. Still, it can be a helpful guide to a more energy efficient home.

Who Might it Benefit?

There are many categories of people that will find the scorecard very beneficial. Property vendors are probably the ones slated to enjoy these benefits the most.

The scorecard will allow them to find the right direction for their investments. With the information contained in the certificate, it’ll be much easier for them to find ways to make a property more attractive to buyers.

They’ll also be able to identify the opportunities for minor upgrades. As mentioned, certain simple changes can make a bigger difference than one might think.

There are many other players in the property market who will benefit from the scorecard. Architects and builders will have clearer guidelines on how to get the most out of homes. Energy efficiency will likely become an important criteria. With the scorecard, they’ll be able to create much more efficient homes.

Households in social housing might find the scorecard very useful as well. Community housing landlords would be able to target them more easily and find new ways of improving the comfort of their home. This doesn’t just apply to individual properties but entire portfolios as well.

The Final Word

If you haven’t really cared about energy efficiency, it might be a good idea to start now. Also, if you’re thinking about getting an assessment, you can do so knowing that you might benefit from it.

Here at Safetyline Jalousie, we care deeply about energy efficiency. For this reason, we offer a wide range of louvre windows that can make your home more energy efficient.

If you’d like to know more, feel free to visit our website.

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Ali Asmar

Business Manager - VIC & SA

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As the most recent addition to the Safetyline Jalousie family, Ali is still coming to terms with the fact that a typical telephone conversation will often be answered with “You’re calling from Safety what”? followed by having to sound out and spell the name “ja-lou-sie” (it happens to us all). Born in Lebanon, Ali has moved around a lot over the years, living in Cyprus, Sydney for most of his Schooling, as well as China and Hong Kong. He currently resides in Melbourne where he spends a lot of time in his garden or doing some sort of work around the house. (Not too dissimilar to many other Melburnians following the onset of Covid). With a very obvious cultured background, Ali is warm and talkative and he’ll get you talking too.

Romile John

National Business Manager

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One of the Safetyine Jalousie originals, Rom (often mistaken for John) holds a great passion for the product. He says its “its innovative, a market leader and ever-evolving, very much like the company itself”. When you meet Rom, it is apparent that he is well-educated and well-travelled. Coming from a family of medical professionals, they moved around extensively and often. Last count was 125 countries. So nearly all of them! It’s really no surprise that Rom has mastered packing a weeks-worth of clothes and necessities into a carry-on bag. And when we say clothes we actually mean meticulously prepared outfits and accessories. When Rom enters a room, you’re sure to know it!

Adam Racomelara

National Manager – Partnerships & Strategy

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Adam is our strategist and big ideas generator whose somewhat reserved nature could have some mistake him as a bit of an introvert. But that’s only until this quiet thinker is given a whiteboard and a marker – and then there’s no stopping the dialogue! 7 Years in at Safetyline Jalousie, Adam is continually expanding on his knowledge of the construction industry and is incredibly driven in his pursuit to help create better buildings via the use of better products. When Adam’s not on his quest to improve Australia’s built environment he’s spending most weekends escorting one of his 4 young kids to birthday parties, sometimes multiple parties. He has some stealth survival tips for other parents currently in the same predicament.

Michael Cocks

Factory Manager

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Michael has become recognised at Safetyline Jalousie for his continually changing hairstyles (facial hair included). Buzz cut, undercut, dreadlocks, even a mullet. We’ve see it all. His current man bun could even be gone before we finish this sentence. Always up for a laugh, friends and colleagues love a chat with Michael, and his easy-going and approachable nature has earned him the respect of all staff. In fact, he even has a cohort of followers on the factory floor sporting his same hairstyles. Outside of work Michael has recently turned his attention to mountain bike riding. His very first ride ended with a pretty serious accident resulting in a deep puncture wound to his leg– it’s been a sore topic for his leg and his ego.

Jonathan Gueudinot

National Logistics & Production Manager

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Our South American Native, Jonathan is more simply and better known as “Chilli” (no need to try and guess his country of origin). After 16 years of military service, Chilli joined the Safetyline Jalousie team for what he describes as “a change of pace”. Although his average work day might look very different these days, there’s no doubt that Chilli’s previous experience has contributed in shaping a culture of commitment, community and comradery within the production team – the very important engine room of our company. Driven by a sense of accomplishment, in addition to running Safetyline Jalousie’s production line with military precision, Chilli has recently been studying hard to complete his Master’s Degree in Business and Logistics.

Mandy Saliba

Marketing Manager

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Mandy has been with Safetyline jalousie since day one so would technically be considered a geriatric in “Jalousie years”. Whilst her role has changed and evolved over her time with the business, one thing that hasn’t is the happy and fun, team culture that she says “continues to make each day at work a joy”. As a mum of two little ones, Mandy thrives on new challenges and a little bit of chaos. Although, as a self-proclaimed clean freak, she ensures that all forms of chaos are kept in a very neat and tidy manner. We’ve also observed that Mandy appears to have an inherent fear of colour and will almost only ever be seen in black or white (or sometimes grey if she is being really out there).

Lisa Spinks

Office Administration Manager

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As a busy mother of 4, Lisa is highly skilled in organising, delegating, and troubleshooting – the proficiencies which she also demonstrates in her daily management of the Safetyline Jalousie office. Lisa tells us that she lives by the saying “What doesn’t break you makes you stronger”. (No doubt she’s had to use this little piece or personal encouragement from time to time to deal with our infinite requests)! Always on the go, Lisa has a very active lifestyle and starts every day with a walk to the beach with her husband and two dogs. Of an evening she still has the energy to spare for star jumps and squats in her makeshift gym/ (our office) before heading home to her other full-time job as “mum”.

 

 

 

Nathan Rust

Founder & National Operations Director

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The younger brother of the co-founding sibling duo, “Nath” is the go-to for just about every technical, install, and manufacturing enquiry that comes via the business. Very early on, Nath’s product knowledge and problem-solving ability saw him organically take on the role of Operations, overseeing the design and management of Safetyline Jalousie’s behind-the-scenes work. When he’s off duty (and not answering a million questions), Nath enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 young kids. You’ll find him cheering on his son at weekend sports, enjoying the water somewhere along the Northern beaches and this lover of food is generally always planning his next big meal. Preferably a Lebanese banquet if anyone can suggest a restaurant he doesn’t frequent already.

Leigh Rust

Founder & Director

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Leigh aka “Wolfpack” is one-half of the driving force behind Safetyline Jalousie and comes with two decades of experience within the Australian manufacturing and construction industry. The multi-award-winning entrepreneur and father of three youngsters is a passionate advocate for supporting Australian-made goods and improving the built environment for future generations to come. Always up for a challenge, Leigh never sits still and is constantly pushing himself to test his physical and mental endurance. He’s given just about everything a go. From amateur MMA fights, triathlons, or personal development endeavours, Leigh stands by the motto, ‘I never lose, either I win or I learn’.

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Safetyline Jalousie Design Manual Version 3

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Safetyline Jalousie Design Manual Version 3