Why have a Scorecard assessment?

With the Scorecard you can see how your home rates compared to other homes. This is useful when you are looking for a new home to buy or rent, or even just to find out how your home compares to average. The current average star rating is three. A Scorecard assessment will give you a very clear explanation on how your home can achieve higher than three stars. Our analysis shows that this can be achieved without major changes to the home.

You also get a home performance rating for hot and cold weather. This tells you how easy it is to keep your home cool in a heatwave or warm in cold snaps.

The Scorecard certificate gives you options that make the biggest improvement to the ratings, so you can reduce your energy costs and increase the comfort of your home. You can also use the certificate to guide a renovation so that your future energy costs are low too.

The Scorecard assessor provides you with even more information, discussing how you want to improve your home and how you can achieve this.

Scorecard is a government supported program. All Scorecard assessors are skilled, trained, accredited and regularly audited. The community, including assessors and businesses, are encouraged to participate to continuously improve the program.

There are many other benefits of a Scorecard rating, for example:

  • You can use the rating when you sell or rent out your home.
  • High rating homes are more resilient and place less demand on energy infrastructure – an important contribution to protecting yourself and the community during extreme weather.
  • Higher rating homes generate fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Talk to your Scorecard assessor about achieving a zero emissions home!
How much does a home cost to run?

The Scorecard rating indicates the average energy cost to run the fixed appliances in a home. In a ten-star home the generation of solar energy should more than offset the energy used in the home by the fixed appliances.

The Scorecard does not model the exact home energy bill as this depends on how you choose to live in your home, additional appliances and connection fees from energy retailers. It’s much more useful to look at your home’s fixed features, because they have the biggest impact on energy bills over time and are less easy to see. This allows you to target home improvements that are a major driver of your energy costs.

In Melbourne, a three-star home will have, on average, $1,773 in energy costs to run the fixed appliances per year.  This considers the use of electricity, gas, wood, LPG and any PV generation. For comparison, the Essential Services Commission’s Victorian Energy Market Report 2017-18, reports that a typical home in north-west Melbourne had an electricity bill in the range of $1,074 to $2,158 and a gas bill in the range of $1,172 to $2,117. These values include fixed supply charges and energy costs for non-fixed plug-in appliances that are not incorporated in the Scorecard results.

How much can I save by upgrading?

Your Scorecard assessor is skilled and trained to provide you with advice on the best value options for your particular home and circumstances. The assessor considers the condition of your home, your plans, costs and personal needs, such as comfort or health issues.

For example, the assessor can provide options for you to consider such as:

  • quick fixes like window coverings and draught proofing
  • things you can do to improve comfort without cost, for example closing doors and using door snakes to keep heat in
  • a longer-term cost-effective plan, for example the best hot water system to install when the old one fails and
  • renovation advice to make major improvements.

This tailored advice is a major benefit of a Scorecard assessment.

See how much can you save by improving your home rating. By examining Scorecard data collected to date we can get a picture of what an ‘average’ benefit can be.


Average annual energy cost to run a home (fixed appliances)


-$ 222


$ 0


$ 266


$ 532


$ 798


$ 1,064


$ 1,330


$ 1,773


$ 3,546


$ 5,319

Let’s look at the journey for a typical three-star home to a ten-star home

The Scorecard assessment found this home has a three-star ducted gas heater, a ducted evaporative cooler and a three-star gas hot water system. The assessor found some draughts that made the home less comfortable and harder to heat and cool. The calculated fixed appliance running cost (on average) are $1,773 per year for heating, cooling, hot water heating and lighting.

The Scorecard assessor considered the options and suggested an upgrade to reach a ten-star rating, and to make the home much more comfortable in hot and cold weather.

The gas ducted heater and gas hot water system were both upgraded to higher efficiency (six-stars). The draughts were sealed. A five kilowatt solar electricity system was installed. The average cost for these upgrades was $11,800.

This ten-star home now saves around $2,000 per year, taking approximately 6 years to pay off the investment.

Background to these calculations:

The package proposed by the assessor consisted of ceiling insulation upgrade to R4 ($800), draught proofing ($1,000), ducted heater upgrade to six-stars ($3,500), hot water upgrade to six-star continuous flow ($1,500), and 5kW solar system ($5,000).

Upgrade costs for insulation and draught proofing are based on the Energy Efficiency Upgrade Potential of Existing Victorian Houses, Sustainability Victoria, 2015. Solar pricing is based on Solar Choice. Gas appliance upgrade pricing is based on retail pricing of units and estimates of installation costs. All installations are assumed to be uncomplicated. Assumes no gas line upgrades are required.

Running cost savings are based on the Scorecard methodology, see Technical Basis of the Victorian Residential Efficiency (.PDF, 5.00 MB).

What is important for me to know?

We have looked at the data from over 3,000 Scorecard assessments and found the following:

  • The hot weather and cold weather performance ratings, which look at the home’s construction, should be a focus for improvements. These two ratings are the weakest part of most homes.
  • Improving these ratings keeps your energy costs lower, regardless of the appliances installed. These ratings also have a major impact on the comfort of your home.
  • In particular, the hot weather rating, which shows how fast your home heats up without cooling is most often the single weakest part of the home. The Scorecard assessor and certificate can give you options on improving this rating and your home’s performance, or simply managing the home differently to improve your comfort.
  • Don’t forget draughts caused by gaps and cracks. It’s surprising how much more comfortable you can be by sealing up draughty rooms. Often, the source of draughts is hard to find and low cost to fix, your Scorecard assessor is trained to locate problem areas and advise on solutions.
  • It’s good to have a plan. When an appliance fails you usually need to act fast and it’s very cost-effective to get a more efficient appliance at this time. Remember to keep a note of your assessor’s advice so it’s easy to choose the right appliance for you.

Page last updated: 28/09/20