Introducing Homestar™

  • 9 September 2011
  • Home Energy Centre

The Nelson Environment Centre will be launching Homestar™ in Nelson in October. A joint venture between BRANZ and the New Zealand Green Building Council, Homestar™ has been developed in collaboration with industry professionals from across the building and construction sector including government.

Homestar™ rates a home’s thermal performance and overall sustainability on a 0-10 star rating system and is poised to shift the housing market towards rewarding good performance because ratings can be directly tied to LIM reports. This will raise the bar and drive an increase in property values for high rating houses.

The Australian experience, where a similar scheme has been operating, shows a clear correlation between homes with high ratings and increased property values. In a 2008 report, the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and Arts found that, if the energy performance of a house improved by 1 star level, then on average its market value increased more than 3 per cent (2.5% in 2005 and 3.8% in 2006). There is no reason why the New Zealand market will not respond in a similar fashion.

It’s accepted that New Zealand’s housing performs poorly by comparison with other OECD countries. Thankfully moves are being taken to improve this situation. In particular, the Green Party and National Party Warm Up New Zealand insulation and heating scheme is funding the upgrade of 188,000 homes over four years. So the ground is shifting within the housing industry with more value being placed on houses which perform better with regards to insulation, heating, and overall sustainability. Homestar™ is seen as a key element in driving housing improvements as it will create transparency around performance and reward efficiency, smart design and lower household running costs.

Aaryn Barlow is delivering Homestar™ in Nelson. Aaryn is a trained HERS (Home Energy Rating Scheme) assessor and has carried out over 500 home audits in Auckland and Christchurch on behalf of a number of companies including EcoMatters and Beacon Pathways.

Building on Aaryn’s experience, we are extremely excited about the opportunity to move into this area.

Homestar™ assessments will start this October with the goal of quickly establishing it as a significant player in the housing market in Nelson. Whether working with existing homes or at the design stage, Homestar™ assessments are a valuable tool in assessing a home’s performance, refining its design and ultimately rewarding efficiency and sustainability.

For more information contact Aaryn at the Nelson Environment Centre on 545 9176 extension 8, or email

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