Homes' energy efficiency measured on new website
Mon, 08 Nov 2010 6:09p.m.
By Dan Parker
A new way of discovering the quality and energy efficiency of New Zealand homes has been unveiled by Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson, and it could change the way we buy houses.
An online ratings service called HomeStar gives properties a ranking from one to 10.
The free service should help buyers make more informed decisions.
Howard Harman's Karori home was built in 1918. It's recently been renovated and insulated, but a HomeStar assessment was quick to point out where further improvements need to be made.
The house scored four out of 10 on HomeStar, which assesses the property's condition, its renovations and water and energy efficiency.
"I was a little surprised, I thought it would have done better than that," says Mr Harman.
But four is by no means a fail - it's better than the current average mark, a three.
Ten stars would likely mean a home was generating its own power, while one star isn't good.
"Sadly a one star home - which is probably not uncommon - is a home which doesn't perform well," says assessor Verny Ryan. "It's damp, mouldy, it's resource inefficient." The Government-backed online guide has two specific purposes - the first is to help homeowners identify required improvements.
The second is for prospective buyers to find out more about a property.
"I think undoubtedly a scheme like this will affect the value of homes," says Mr Ryan. "It's likely that when you come to sell your home if you put in the recommendations you are going to have a much bigger competitive advantage."
If the home owner's star assessment is in dispute, a certified assessor can be hired - but that will cost $400 - $500.
"Insulation and double glazing are now mandatory in the new homes being built," says Mr Williamson. "This is built for the 95 or 98 percent of homes built before that code and into the past."
Mr Williamson says up to 1 million homes are in serious need of improvements.
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9/11/2010 9:12:58 a.m.
Lloyd Anderson wrote:
How can I assess my house under the homestar system when we have not been told how to access this rating system and I cannot find it even with googling "homestar".Seems we have been trumpeted something but nobody can use it. Pointless
8/11/2010 11:45:45 p.m.
Agree with you Mazza
8/11/2010 7:51:08 p.m.
Yes Interesting but feel if one is renting from Housing NZ -- well have found they dont really care.
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