Changes to NatHERS Assessments and Fees from 1st May 2016

There have been changes made to the NatHERS  software that is used to analyse a building’s the thermal performance.
From the 1st may 2016 NatHERS software will have a “fee per certificate” of $20 + GST.
Currently there is no fee for each dwelling’s certificates but the assessor pays an annual fee for their software licence.
The new fee will be passed onto developers and architects, especially for medium to high density apartments where the per dwelling certificate fees will quickly add up.

There are also numerous changes to the analysis, especially in relation to the treatment of windows, window specifications and the permitted deviation from the specifications. In particular, the permitted variation from the simulated SHGCs will now be either 5% or 10%, depending on window type (awning, slider, fixed, etc). Until now, the permitted variation has been 10% for all window types.

Why is there a new “fee-per-certificate” model?

From 1st Feb 2016, BERS Pro, FR 5 and AccuRate changed the way that the Chenath engine was licensed and a $20 fee + GST fee will be collected by the CSIRO (for each dwelling certified). These fees are intended to ensure that the costs of the software are more fairly shared amongst assessors and, indirectly, their clients. These fees contribute to engine development and to improve the viability of the software.

Do assessors need to pay each time they generate a certificate?

Every certified dwelling (including apartments) is faced with the fee of $20 + GST. If assessors  need to make changes to an existing project after they have generated the initial certificate, this will be counted as an amendment and there will not be an additional charge if within 12 months of generating the initial certificate.

Can assessors amend a project after they have generated a certificate and do they have to pay again?

If a repeat assessment is performed due to amendments to the design, there will not be an additional fee, with some conditions. As long as the address is not changed and less than 12 months have elapsed then it will be treated as an amendment and will not use any additional credits.
Results from previous thermal assessments may vary when assessed with the new software due to the changes but David at Partners Energy is very experienced in formulating practical solutions for projects , especially the more complex designs.