Mornington Peninsula



As the demand for energy-efficient homes continues to rise, the Victorian government has taken significant steps to improve the energy efficiency standards for new homes. These changes aim to create homes that are not only more comfortable to live in but also cost less to heat and cool, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the key initiatives, programs, and regulations that are driving the transition to 7-star energy-efficient homes in Victoria.

Transitioning to 7-Star Homes

The transition to 7-star energy-efficient homes is a priority for the Victorian government. Under the newly implemented National Construction Code (NCC) 2022, the minimum energy efficiency standards for new homes have been increased from 6 to 7 stars. This transition period, which commenced on 1 October 2022, will last for 12 months, allowing the construction industry to adjust and align new projects with the new standards.

From October 2023, compliance with the 7-star energy efficiency standard will become mandatory for all new projects in Victoria. This significant shift will result in homes that are not only more cost-effective to run but also provide enhanced comfort and resilience to extreme weather conditions.

The 7 Star Homes Program

One of the key initiatives driving the transition to 7-star energy-efficient homes is the 7 Star Homes program. This program works collaboratively with businesses and individuals across the building and construction supply chain to increase their capability and capacity for delivering energy-efficient homes.

Through the 7 Star Homes program, registered builders and land developers can access rebates to design and construct 7-star NatHERS rated homes. These homes are assessed using the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS), which measures the energy efficiency of residential buildings. The program also provides online training resources for builders, designers, and assessors to enhance their skills and knowledge in constructing energy-efficient homes.

Financial Incentives for Energy-Efficient Upgrades

To facilitate the transition to 7-star energy-efficient homes, the 7 Star Homes program offers financial rebates to assist with the upgrade costs. These rebates are provided to registered builders and land developers who are committed to designing and constructing energy-efficient homes that meet the 7-star rating.

The financial incentives provided by the 7 Star Homes program help offset the additional construction costs associated with implementing energy-efficient features. This encourages the widespread adoption of sustainable building practices and makes energy-efficient homes more accessible to homebuyers.

Training and Capacity Building

In addition to financial incentives, the 7 Star Homes program focuses on increasing the skills and capabilities of individuals and businesses involved in the building and construction industry. Recognizing the importance of knowledge and expertise in delivering energy-efficient homes, the program provides comprehensive training resources.

Builders, designers, and assessors can access online training modules that cover various aspects of energy-efficient home design and construction. These resources help professionals understand the requirements for achieving a 7-star energy rating and equip them with the necessary tools to implement energy-saving measures effectively.

Solar Victoria’s Solar Homes Rebate Program

Another significant program driving the transition to energy-efficient homes in Victoria is the Solar Victoria’s Solar Homes rebate program. This program provides financial incentives to reduce the upfront costs of installing solar panels (PV), solar hot water systems, and solar batteries in both existing and new construction homes.

Saving on Electricity Costs

Households that install solar panels can experience substantial savings on their electricity costs. On average, households with solar panels can save around $1,073 per year by generating and using their own energy. This not only reduces reliance on the grid but also contributes to a more sustainable and cost-effective energy consumption pattern.

Furthermore, households that invest in both solar panels and solar hot water systems or energy-efficient heat pumps can save up to $1,473 per year in electricity costs. These combined energy-efficient measures significantly reduce the energy demand for heating and cooling, leading to substantial financial savings for homeowners.

New Building Regulations

To support the transition to energy-efficient homes, new building regulations have been introduced under the National Construction Code (NCC) 2022. These regulations focus on improving energy efficiency and accessibility standards for new homes and apartments.

Enhanced Energy Efficiency Standards

One of the key provisions of the new building regulations is the increase in minimum energy efficiency standards for new homes. The transition from 6 to 7-star energy ratings, as measured by the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS), ensures that new homes are built to higher energy efficiency standards.

The inclusion of fixed appliances such as heating, cooling, hot water, and lighting in the energy efficiency assessment further emphasizes the importance of overall energy use reduction. This holistic approach enables homeowners to have more control over their energy consumption, leading to reduced energy bills and a smaller carbon footprint.

Accessibility Standards

In addition to energy efficiency, the new building regulations also prioritize accessibility in new homes and apartments. These regulations aim to create homes that are easily accessible for individuals with mobility limitations and support them through different life stages.

The accessibility standards require step-free street or parking entry to the building, step-free entry to the dwelling, accessible doorways, a toilet on the entry level, a step-free shower, and reinforced bathroom walls for the installation of grab rails. These features ensure that new homes accommodate the needs of individuals with mobility limitations, creating inclusive and universally accessible living spaces.

Implementation Timeline and Transition Period

The new energy efficiency and accessibility standards introduced under the National Construction Code (NCC) 2022 will come into effect in Victoria on 1 May 2023. However, to facilitate a smooth transition for the construction industry, a transition period has been established, lasting until 1 October 2023.

During this transition period, builders, developers, and other stakeholders in the construction industry can adjust their practices, ensuring compliance with the new standards. This phased approach allows for adequate preparation and implementation of energy-efficient and accessible design principles, ultimately benefiting homeowners and the environment.


The Victorian government’s commitment to improving energy efficiency in new homes is driving significant change in the construction industry. Through programs like the 7 Star Homes program and Solar Victoria’s Solar Homes rebate program, homeowners can access financial incentives and resources to make their homes more energy-efficient and sustainable.