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CSIRO AND ENERGY INSPECTION SIGN DEAL TO DEVELOP NEW 3rd GENERATION “CARBON EMISSIONS MEASUREMENT TOOL” (CEMT) FOR EXISTING DWELLINGS

EI believes that anthropogenic climate change represents a significant threat to the existence and prosperity of human society.  The 2015 United Nations Paris Climate Conference (COP21) meeting agreement, to seek to limit the increase in global temperature to 1.5-2.0 deg C, places considerable onus on the Victorian and other state and federal governments to shift the focus from energy efficiency to carbon abatement in homes over the next few years. 

With carbon abatement in residential buildings being shown to provide the highest return on investment for any category of carbon abatement investment, regulators will need improved carbon emissions measurement and reporting tools that (preferably) incorporate NatHERS functionality.  To this end EI and the CSIRO recently executed an agreement to jointly develop and deploy a new “Carbon Emissions Measurement Tool” (CEMT) for the existing residential building sector.  It is planned that this tool will include both the existing NatHERS rating protocol rules and also an extended set of logic to measure carbon abatement.  Thereby creating a transition plan into the future for the residential assessment industry. 

EI envisages the following benefits for assessors, government(s) and the community:

  • Assessors will be able to use the CEMT to not only model new building thermal performance but also to predict the energy bill and the carbon emissions of a particular dwelling during the design phase.  Note: The current NatHERS thermal rating will be incorporated into the CEMT as a “subset rating”; thus enabling earlier ratings to be directly correlated with new “whole-of-building” ratings.
  • EI estimates that the future expansion of residential building mandatory disclosure legislation to the states (beyond the ACT), together with proposed new mandatory carbon abatement upgrade measures to be implemented prior to sale (or lease) and leveraging existing Energy Efficiency Obligation schemes such as the VEET scheme and the NSW ESS, would create more than 1,600 new on-site residential building mandatory disclosure  assessor jobs, and 10,000 new energy efficiency/solar PV/battery storage installation/supplier jobs Australia-wide.

 

BERS PRO SOFTWARE

7 December 2017

New Release - BERS Prov4.3.0.2b (3.13)

NatHERS Custom Windows Update 

The new BERS Pro v4.3 release has all the current window libraries.  You will need to install this latest version to ensure that you can continue to run simulations beyond the 15th December 2017.

New Features

  • Window U-values will now be displayed to one decimal place to better align with information as displayed on the WERS website
  • Universal Certificate – Annual Thermal Performance loads (MJ/m2) are now displayed to one decimal place to more accurately reflect the simulation results as displayed in the user interface. 

Bug Fix Update

A Variable Slab Thickness issue has been corrected.  Previously if the slab thickness was changed after the floors were combined, the adjusted thickness was in some instances being applied to all floors, even if they were a different floor construction.

15 November 2017

Certificate credit price increase and changes to BERS Pro End User Licence Agreement (EULA)

 From the 1st December 2017 (8 am AEDT) the price of BERS Pro certificate credits will increase to $30 per certificate ($33 including GST).

Please note that on the 1st December 2017 (8 am AEDT) the BERS Pro 12 month licence will increase to $450 ($495 including GST). This price includes fifteen (15) “free” Universal Certificates.

Until the 1st December 2017, a transition period will be in place, during which BERS Pro users will be able to purchase certificates at the current price, that is $20 per certificate ($22 including GST). 

Why is Energy Inspection increasing the price of certificate coupons?

Energy Inspection (EI) is increasing the price of certificate credits to facilitate:

1.    Recovery of increased operating costs:

    • Current certificate prices were originally set in October 2014 and have not been adjusted in the past three years.  On the other hand Energy Inspection’s operating costs have increased, including annual inflationary increases in Chenath engine fees and other operating and administration costs. A price increase is now necessary to cover operating cost increases that have been accruing over the past three years.

 2.    Continuing significant investment by Energy Inspection, CSIRO and CRC RP1024 in new and improved 3rd generation assessment software:

    • Since 2014 Energy Inspection has been planning and working together with CSIRO (and more recently CRC RP1024) to develop a new world-class residential modelling tool, based upon CSIRO’s Chenath engine.
    • Since 2014 Energy Inspection has invested over $1 million in the development of the BERS Pro software and the Carbon Emissions Measurement Platform (CEMP); please refer to http://www.energyinspection.com.au/  for more details.
    • The initial thermal modelling component of CEMP is nearing completion and we are currently seeking NatHERS accreditation for this new software. 
    • In addition, Energy Inspection is working with the NatHERS Administrator and to develop a future work programme which will offer assessors the ability to extend their service offering into the market for “existing dwellings”, either on a voluntary or, potentially, a mandatory basis. Should regulators implement a residential mandatory disclosure regime in coming years within Australian jurisdictions (such as in the ACT or the UK) the size of the assessment market in Australia could increase by around 400%, generating up to 1,000 new assessor jobs and 5,000 new energy efficiency and solar storage supply and installation jobs.
    • The additional revenue generated by increasing the certificate credit price will assist Energy Inspection to engage the necessary resources to deliver the multi-year work program outlined above.

 3.    Ongoing funding of NatHERS accreditation:

    • The administrative requirements of the NatHERS Scheme for software providers has increased and Energy Inspection needs to ensure it is sufficiently resourced to meet these on-going requirements.
    • The NatHERS software accreditation period is expected to commence in May 2018 and Energy Inspection needs to ensure it has sufficient resources to complete any mandatory accreditation processes in a timely manner.
    • Energy Inspection needs to successfully meet all accreditation requirements to ensure BERS Pro remains an accredited NatHERS software tool and this is a resource-intensive process.

Transition period for price increase

Before 1st December 2017 (8 am AEDT) users will be able to purchase certificate credits at the current price, that is, $20 per certificate ($22 including GST). However, coupons purchased during this transition period will expire two months after the date of purchase, NOT the standard 36 month expiry period. 

From 1st December 2017 (8 am AEDT) certificate coupon prices will increase to $30 per certificate ($33 including GST) and the expiry date of credits will revert back to 36 months after the date of purchase. 

This transition period is in place so users have the opportunity to purchase credits at the current prices to finalise any projects that are near completion. 

Users who wish to purchase credits with a 36 month expiry period will need to wait until 1st December 2017 (8 am AEDT).
                                             

Changes to the BERS Pro EULA

 Pursuant to clause 40, the BERS Pro EULA Terms of Use are hereby varied as follows:

Clause 4.6 is amended as follows:

"4.6 Subject to clause 4.7, a Certificate Coupon shall remain valid for redemption for a period of 3 years and shall thereafter expire".

New clause 4.7 is added as follows:

"4.7 Transitional arrangements on Certificate Coupon fee increase: Certificate Coupons purchased between 15 November 2017 and 1 December 2017 will expire two months after the date of purchase".

Clause 22 (notices) is amended by adding the following at the end of the clause:

"This clause 22 is subject to clause 30 (amendment)."

Clause 30 (amendment) is varied by adding the following at the end of the clause:

"Notice of such variation shall be effective when published on the website of the licensor."

You can also find the complete revised BERS Pro EULA at: BERS Pro EULA.4.1

 

16 June 2017


NatHERS Custom Windows Update 


The latest BERS Pro v4.3 release has all the latest window libraries.  You will need to install this latest version to ensure that you can continue to run simulations beyond 15th June 2017.

The updated installer for general release is available from the Energy Inspection website by clicking HERE. Download instructions are on the Software Downloads page.  A new licence installation will not be required for currently licensed users.

New Feature: Variable slab thickness functionality change
Assessors will now be able to adjust the concrete thickness for slab-on-ground and suspended slab constructions.  For more information please review the  BERS Pro Variable Slab Thickness Functionality explanation document by clicking HERE.

Bug Fix Update
1. Some assessments have been found to have a difference of internal wall area between adjoining zones.  The software now automatically recalculates the internal areas before running the simulation.
 
2. We have also resolved a failure-to-simulate bug that didn’t allow the selection of a reflective air gap insulation to be applied to other floor constructions, if a waffle pod construction was used on level 1.
 
Resources
The Energy Inspection Resources webpage has recently been updated. To review the updates, access the webpage from HERE.

Security Notice
We are committed to providing a secure website and other cloud platform services and as such, Energy Inspection together with our software providers, are upgrading our security protocols.  It is advised that you upgrade to the following certified browsers or above: 

  • Apple Safari 4 - 9 (Apple Mac OS)
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 9, 10, and 11 (32 bit)
  • Google Chrome 47
  • Mozilla Firefox 42 

If you do not have a certified browser, you will need to upgrade as older browsers may stop being supported or working with our applications in the near future.

1 February 2017

A new version of BERS Pro is now ready for download:

BERS Pro v4.3.0.2 (3.13) is now available to download.  This release marks the end of the full and formal accreditation of BERS Pro 4.3.0.X by the NatHERS administrator. The new installer for general release is available from the Energy Inspection (EI) website by clicking HERE. Download instructions are on the Software Downloads page.  A new licence will not be required for existing users licensed through 30 April 2017.

The following issues have been addressed in v4.3.0.2 (3.13):

 1.      Full modelling of reflective air gaps within a sub-floor.  Historically BERS has not accurately modelled the heat affects from both a top down and bottom up perspective. The changes required to match Accurate have been significant and have required exhaustive testing of the possible permutations and combinations of sub-floor as part of the overall modelling of a dwelling.  We now believe a dwelling modelled in BERS Pro, where foils are included, will produce results in alignment with AccuRate.  This change has no impact on you as a user of BERS Pro.

2.       Late in December AVG virus software started incorrectly identifying our licencing software as a Trojan virus.  This has now been corrected.

The following transitional arrangements have been agreed:

A transitional period has been agreed with the NatHERS Administrator where BES Pro v4.3.0.1a (3.13) and BERS Pro v4.3.0.2 (3.13) will both be accredited for use for a period of two months ending 31 March 2017.  During this time both versions will be available to download from the EI website SOFTWARE DOWNLOADS page.

Two weeks prior to the 31 March 2017, a notification will be sent by EI to remind all BERS Pro users to complete transitioning to BERS Pro v4.3.0.2 (3.13).  Please note that after the 31 March 2017, the previous version will not be available to download. Any H-star coupons purchased after the 31st March will only be valid for use with BERS Pro v4.3.0.2 (3.13).  This is to help ensure the most current version is in use.  Any coupons already credited to the H-star portal will continue to be valid for both versions.

9 June 2016

NatHERS Default and Custom Windows

We thought the included article (from Michael Plunkett of SmartRate) which appeared in BDAV News, June 2016 (the official journal of the Building Designers Association of Victoria) would be of interest to all our Assessors. Click HERE to download.

It provides some useful background to the use of windows and how best to use the window libraries now available in BERS Pro v4.3.


The issues resolved in the latest release are detailed below:

A new installer for general release is available from the Energy Inspection website by clicking HERE.

Simulation related fix:

  1. Removed warning for "There is a wall less than 300mm that may cause errors when simulating".  We have removed this warning, but the 150mm wall length error message remains.  As highlighted previously this was also an issue within BERS Pro v4.2, and Assessors have been trained to work around this scenario. 

House design related fixes:

  1. For Party wall Copy/Paste the images are now updated on the paste.  Previously we had enabled this feature, but the visuals weren’t updating.
  2. Now able to simulate with Rylock window.  This was due to the length of the description field.  This has now been extended.
  3. The issue with the incorrect thickness being displayed for a second level has been corrected.

Universal Certificate related fixes:

  1. Ceiling Type for multi-storey dwellings the "Roof space above" was appearing "Yes" incorrectly.  Now if there is a Common Area to zones above being the entire lower zone area then ensure "No" for Roof above. 
  2. Changes for Fixed Shading were incorrectly being applied.  We have removed this process to align with current AccuRate functionality.
  3. Further enhancement to the handling of the five special XML characters.
  4. The Additional Comments from the Project Details comments are now appearing on the Certificate.  Text from the comments field will be presented on the Universal Certificate without any formatting.
  5. Roof type insulation now has the correct R value being displayed in all cases.

Building Details Report related fixes:

  1. Corrected calculation for split external wall area where the total upper part is now being calculated correctly, previously this was using the lower part again.
  2. Corrected calculation for external floor area summary where there is a secondary area specified, previously this 2nd area was not being deducted for 1st level.

15 April 2016

We are pleased to advise that the NatHERS Administrator has granted Energy Inspection accreditation of BERS Pro v4.3.0.1 (3.13) from 1 May 2016.

You should also note that the current short term accreditation for BERS Pro 4.2.11081 expires on 30 April 2016.  Existing BERS Pro 4.2.11081 licences expire on the 1st May 2016 and cannot be extended.

Please refer to the NatHERS website for details: 

Final end date of short-term accreditation of BERS Pro 4.2.110811 and FirstRate5 version v5.1(x)

Please note that the BERS Pro v4.3.0.1 (3.13) software will be available for download from the Energy Inspection site on Tuesday, 26th April 2016. The price for the software (as previously advised) will be $440 including GST.  This price includes twenty (20) “free” Universal Certificates.

As you are aware you will need to have successfully completed the Mandatory Induction Package (MIP) before Energy Inspection can issue you with a licence key for the new BERS Pro v4.3.0.1 (3.13) software.

 

ACCURATE 


15 November 2017

 Certificate credit price increase

 From the 1st December 2017 (8 am AEDT) the price of Accurate certificate credit packs will increase as per the table below:

Certificate Pack

New price

(including GST)

3-Pack

$88.00

5-Pack

$145.00

10-Pack

$280.00

100-Pack

$2,695.00

 Note: AccuRate support licences will not change.

Until the 1st December 2017, a transition period will be in place, during which users will be able to purchase certificates at the current prices. 


Why is Energy Inspection increasing the price of certificate coupons?

Energy Inspection (EI) is increasing the price of certificate credits to facilitate:

1.    Recovery of increased operating costs:

    • Current certificate prices were originally set in Oct 2014 and have not been adjusted in the past three years.  On the other hand Energy Inspection’s operating costs have increased, including annual inflationary increases in Chenath engine fees and other operating and administration costs. A price increase is now necessary to cover operating cost increases that have been accruing over the past three years.

 2.    Continuing significant investment by Energy Inspection, CSIRO and CRC RP1024 in new and improved 3rd generation assessment software:

    • Since 2014 Energy Inspection has been planning and working together with CSIRO (and more recently CRC RP1024) to develop a new world-class residential modelling tool, based upon CSIRO’s Chenath engine.
    • Since 2014 Energy Inspection has invested over $1 million in the development of the BERS Pro software and the Carbon Emissions Measurement Platform (CEMP); please refer to http://www.energyinspection.com.au/ for more details.
    • The initial thermal modelling component of CEMP is nearing completion and we are currently seeking NatHERS accreditation for this new software. 
    • In addition, Energy Inspection is working with the NatHERS Administrator and to develop a future work programme which will offer assessors the ability to extend their service offering into the market for “existing dwellings”, either on a voluntary or, potentially, a mandatory basis. Should regulators implement a residential mandatory disclosure regime in coming years within Australian jurisdictions (such as in the ACT or the UK) the size of the assessment market in Australia could increase by around 400%, generating up to 1,000 new assessor jobs and 5,000 new energy efficiency and solar storage supply and installation jobs.
    • The additional revenue generated by increasing the certificate credit price will assist Energy Inspection to engage the necessary resources to deliver the multi-year work program outlined above.

 3.    Ongoing funding of NatHERS accreditation:

    • The administrative requirements of the NatHERS Scheme for software providers has increased and Energy Inspection needs to ensure it is sufficiently resourced to meet these on-going requirements.
    • The NatHERS software accreditation period is expected to commence in May 2018 and Energy Inspection needs to ensure it has sufficient resources to complete any mandatory accreditation processes in a timely manner.
    • Energy Inspection needs to successfully meet all accreditation requirements to ensure BERS Pro remains an accredited NatHERS software tool and this is a resource-intensive process.

Transition period for price increase

Before 1st December 2017 (8 am AEDT) users will be able to purchase certificate credits at the current prices. However, coupons purchased during this transition period will expire two months after the date of purchase, NOT the standard 36 month expiry period. 

From 1st December 2017 (8 am AEDT) certificate coupon prices will increase and the expiry date of credits will revert back to 36 months after the date of purchase. 

This transition period is in place so users have the opportunity to purchase credits at the current prices to finalise any projects that are near completion. 

Users who wish to purchase credits with a 36 month expiry period will need to wait until 1st December 2017 (8 am AEDT).                         

 

1 July, 2015

Energy Inspection became the new distributor for all AccuRate software, licencing and certificate generation needs. 

Any questions?
We're here to help, so please don’t hesitate to contact us about your enquiries and renewals at admin@energyinspection.com.au