HVAC Efficiency Ratings in Australia

jeremy bednarsh efficiencyAustralia is the first country to introduce energy efficiency ratings for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units. Sustainability Victoria is overseeing the development of the ranking systems for energy efficiency. The rating tool that they are developing will use quantitative and qualitative data assessing design, the installation and operational phases, and the performance of the various units. Hopefully the outcome of this ranking system will encourage manufacturers to strive to offer the best practice products on the market.

While Sustainability Victoria is overseeing the project, there are other major players involved in the development of the standards. The Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air-conditioning, and Heating (AIRAH), the Property Council of Australia, the Facilities Management Association of Australia, and the Air-conditioning and Mechanical Contractors Association are the industrial leaders that are helping to develop standards for energy efficiency.

The resulting HVAC criteria will hopefully put pressure on companies to improve the efficiency on their products, resulting in greater efficiency and sustainability in facilities throughout the country. Amazingly, HVAC systems make up half of the energy usage/consumption in buildings and also account for over fifty percent of potential improvement in energy efficiency. The standards that are being put together will result in an online tool that will be easy to access. This ‘Calculating Cool HVAC Tool’ will be used for data collection, long-term monitoring, and comparative analysis.

Australia is the first in the world to creative energy ratings criteria specifically for HVAC systems. Hopefully, other countries will take notice and adopt the ratings system or develop one of their own. The Australia system will be compatible with the NABERS and Green Star Design suite of rating tools. The new HVAC rating system is currently still in development, but should have a public review by the end of 2014.