Frequently asked questions
- Questions about the Scorecard and how it works
- Questions about getting a Scorecard assessment
- Questions about what happens after an assessment
- Questions about becoming a Scorecard assessor
What is the Scorecard and how does it work?
Why did the Victorian Government develop the Scorecard?
Victoria is leading the way in helping households save on their energy bills: Scorecard tells householders which parts of the house are driving energy bills, and how those can be improved. But the Scorecard also has other benefits for the state and for Victorians:
- Scorecard helps make houses healthier and more comfortable to live in by providing clear recommendations on improving your home to cope with hot and cold conditions.
- Scorecard increases job opportunities by developing the energy efficiency sector, including house assessment, associated renovations, manufacture and installation of efficient appliances.
- By supporting energy efficiency, Scorecard provides a fast, low-cost way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Scorecard gives a clearer picture of the overall energy efficiency of Victoria's housing stock, as well as its resistance to hot weather, and can guide government decision-making on how best to make improvements.
How do you know Scorecard works?
The Scorecard has been developed based on strong technical analysis and lessons from existing programs. Continuous improvement is a feature of the Scorecard program, with ongoing activities to better understand and serve community needs.
From August to October 2016, Moreland Energy Foundation trialled the Scorecard in 90 homes in metropolitan Melbourne and 113 in regional Victoria. A range of organisations are now conducting assessments and adding further data to inform the development of Scorecard.
During trials, householders were very interested in the information provided, with some planning how to use the information to save on their energy bills.
Expert home assessors from Moreland Energy Foundation found the Scorecard tool easy to use. They could easily enter the information required, generate a certificate on site, and have a conversation with householders about suitable home improvements to save on energy costs.
Recommendations from these trials have informed upgrades of the tool and of the assessor accreditation process.
Aren't there already plenty of good ways to find out how to save on your energy bill?
It's easy to pay too much for energy and miss out on simple ways to save, because it can be hard to find reliable information. Your home and its features drives your energy bill, but once you have switched to more efficient appliances, it can be hard to figure out what to do next. The Scorecard provides a rating that represents the energy costs of the main (fixed) features of your home. You can use this to see how you compare and how to save. The Scorecard certificate includes a range of recommendations, and your trained assessor will help you understand what options may be suitable for your circumstances.
There was previously no accepted way to get an energy efficiency star rating for a whole house. Households will now be able to understand how good their home is, compare between houses using the rating, and get recommendations on how to reduce energy costs.
What is the difference between the Scorecard and other rating tools in the market?
The Scorecard is more than a tool, it is a program that is designed to help householders save on their energy bills and improve their home's comfort.
The Scorecard program gives householders reliable information to help improve their home, keeping the cost of the assessment as low as possible through a web-based tool that helps assessor enter the necessary data rapidly and accurately.
All Scorecard assessors must be trained and accredited to access the program. Extensive quality control and auditing processes are in place to protect the public. Assessors need to comply with quality principles or they will not be able to participate.
The Scorecard program has been developed and tested based on the best available information. It is supported by government, and if you are interested, you can be involved in its development - subscribe to the Scorecard Bulletin and we'll keep you up to date.
Other tools have different goals. For example, there are tools to help you find a lower cost energy provider or find all the ways you can reduce your greenhouse emissions. Other tools are designed to help design new residential or commercial buildings. Note that the Scorecard cannot be used to demonstrate compliance with the building code.
What house features does the Scorecard assess?
The Scorecard assessment identifies and assesses details of the key fixed features of a house. The Scorecard focuses on these features as they are some of the most complex to improve and impact strongly on your energy bill and comfort for as long as you live in the house. Find out more by reading the page, 'What is assessed?'
How can the Victorian Residential Efficiency Scorecard rating include my particular circumstances? I am very good at turning off lights
Choosing how to use appliances is one way to save on energy costs.
The Scorecard fills in a gap that is not so easy for households. The Scorecard determines the energy efficiency of the house itself – walls, floors, insulation, windows etc – as well as major fixed appliances (such as heaters, air conditioners and hot water systems) and assumes a standard usage. In this way, the resulting star rating is independent of household habits and can be used as a method of direct comparison between houses, or before and after renovation.
With this 'standard use' households can be sure that a particular rating is not driven by one particular behaviour. The rating is driven by the features that are fixed in the house and therefore the features they must live with.
What have you learned so far about Victorian homes?
The Scorecard assessment process has already produced a lot of data about Victorian homes. Based on the houses assessed so far, we know:
- the largest cost for most homes is for heating, but for about 20% of homes, hot water is the highest cost
- many homes are uncomfortable in hot weather
- most householders could save money through improving the efficiency of their heating and sealing up gaps
- most householders could be more comfortable in summer if they installed external blinds and sealed up gaps and cracks.
- halogen lighting can be a large cost in many homes. LED globes can now replace halogens and help save on electricity bills.
Getting a Scorecard assessment
Why would I have my house assessed?
The Scorecard makes is easy to save money on your energy bill and be more comfortable in your home.
The Scorecard is particularly useful for planning renovations, and for anyone who wants to keep their energy bills low or make their house more comfortable when the weather is very hot or cold. It can also give your house a point of difference when selling – a Scorecard star rating gives you a transparent way to promote your house's energy efficiency.
Houses are complex and it can be hard to understand what features of the house drive energy costs. The Scorecard rates your home on a 10 star scale – the more stars a house achieves the lower the energy bill is likely to be.
The Scorecard certificate identifies the fixed features of the house that influence the rating and provides suggestions on how these features can be improved. The accredited Scorecard assessor will explain the certificate findings and discuss your needs to help you make the right decision for your circumstances.
How can I get a Scorecard assessment?
Assessments are currently available through not-for-profit organisations. You can visit 'I want an assessment' to see if one of them covers your area. If none of them do, fill out the form and we will contact you when assessors become available in your area.
From April 2018, commercial businesses will also be able to provide Scorecard assessments and the service will be more widely available.
How much will it cost me to get a Scorecard assessment?
The Victorian Government does not set a price for this service. Just like any other professional service, assessors set prices based on their business model and householders will be able to choose the service that fits their needs.
Can I only get an assessment through a community or non-profit organisation?
The Scorecard is being released in two phases. The first phase launched in March 2017, with not-for-profit organisations delivering the program. Commercial release (the second phase) is scheduled for April 2018. That's when commercial businesses will start delivering Scorecard as a paid service. This two-stage release was used so we could refine the assessor accreditation and quality control processes, before full release in 2018.
Does the Victorian Residential Efficiency Scorecard work on flats and apartments too? How about renters?
The Scorecard is designed to calculate the star rating of Victorian homes regardless of whether they are a freestanding house or a unit, as long as they have their own heating, cooling, hot water and other services.
As the Scorecard rating can be used to compare homes, it can equally be used to compare rental properties. Landlords can share the results with tenants; it is a great way for tenants to understand the benefits of a particular property.
I have been offered a free or discounted Scorecard assessment, is this a scam?
Some government programs provide free or discounted Scorecard assessments. In these situations, they will contact you to offer an assessment, sometimes with other services. The program and offer should be clearly explained in the materials provided to you. If you still have any concerns regarding such an offer please email help.Scorecard@delwp.vic.gov.au.
How long is a Scorecard certificate valid?
A Scorecard rating represents the performance of the home at the point the assessor undertook the rating. To support this rating, the assessor takes photographs as evidence of key features, such as the type and age of the hot water system.
The assessor can create a 'variation report' – that is, a new rating based on possible upgrades to the home – so you can investigate what benefits this could deliver.
If the home is upgraded or renovated the initial certificate will no longer be valid. Your assessor can create a new rating if they have evidence of the necessary features of the upgrade.
How do I know a Scorecard rating is genuine?
If you've asked for a Scorecard rating certificate for a home you intend to buy or rent, you'll want to know the certificate is genuine.
To be sure the rating is genuine check the address on the certificate matches the address of the home, and that the assessor name and identifying number is listed on the Scorecard website.
You may also want to contact the business that delivered the assessment.
If you are still concerned please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
After an assessment
I've had an assessment and I don't agree with it or I have a problem with the assessor
Start by contacting the organisation or assessor that provided the assessment. This is usually the fastest way to resolve an issue.
If that doesn't work and you still have an issue please email: email@example.com.
My Scorecard certificate recommends upgrading my home - can I trust these recommendations?
The Scorecard certificate provides home upgrade recommendations to improve your home's star rating. These recommendations are produced through the Scorecard tool based on the features of your home. The recommendations are relatively simple and do not consider all the issues you might want to consider before you make a decision, including your budget and your aspirations for your home.
You should also consider your personal needs in making a decision. For example, if noise is an issue, double glazing may be a priority, but if your windows are new this may not be a sensible option. Talk to your accredited assessor about what might work best for your home – assessors are experienced in providing tailored recommendations to suit your circumstances and budget.
A decision on an upgrade should consider many factors as well as the Scorecard recommendations. Once you've decided you want to make an upgrade, source a number of quotations, as you would for any similar purchasing decision.
How will Scorecard help me stay cooler in summer?
The Scorecard rates how well a home performs in hot conditions without air conditioning and gives you recommendations on improvements. This important new feature is very useful to improving the comfort of homes in summer.
Homes in Victoria can perform poorly in hot conditions, and the state is seeing more regular and longer hot spells each summer. If the house has no air-conditioner, or it fails, then this can make you very uncomfortable or even affect your health. This can be particularly difficult for people who need to spend a lot of time in the home, or for those in poor health.
By better understanding and improving how our houses perform in hot conditions, we can support the comfort and safety of Victorians.
The Scorecard certificate also provides advice on staying warm in winter.
Why do Scorecard ratings have to be done by a trained provider?
It is complex to properly assess the energy performance of a house. Assessors need training and experience to recognise, rate and record the energy efficiency features of a house. They also need to be able to provide tailored, relevant recommendations to make your house more energy efficient. We want them to thoroughly understand how the tool works and what customers will expect from them. You should have confidence that your assessor has passed the Victorian Government accreditation process.
If you want to know more about how assessors get accredited to deliver Scorecard, watch this video
How do I become a Scorecard assessor?
We are always looking for assessors to undertake accreditation for Scorecard. If you would like to become a Scorecard assessor, visit 'I want to deliver assessments' to find out what qualifications you'll require and how the accreditation process works.