Why Homestar

Homestar provides a clear framework for home sustainability and performance. It’s comprehensive, independent, and creates homes that are healthier and more efficient than much of New Zealand’s existing housing stock.

The majority of our homes are under-heated by international standards, falling at least 2˚C short of the World Health Organisation’s minimum indoor daytime temperature of 18˚C.

Most new homes built to New Zealand's much criticised Building Code would only achieve a 3-4 on a Homestar rating scale, and won't be up to the healthy standards that Kiwis deserve. 

Getting a Homestar rating requires planning, but it won't end up making a house unaffordable. In fact, affordability is one of Homestar's key advantages.

  • If you're building, achieving a 6 Homestar rating adds just 1.5% to the construction costs of a typical three-bedroom house, or nothing at all if the house is slightly smaller than today's larger homes.
  • Homestar reduces the cost of running a home, especially in terms of energy and water savings. Over seven years (the expected home ownership period), homes rated 5 and 6 Homestar enjoy annual savings on energy and water bills of $573-$729 per year.

Most new homes built to the substandard Building Code will only achieve a 3-4 Homestar rating scale, and most existing New Zealand homes only achieve a 2-3 Homestar rating scale. Ratings of 6 and 7 Homestar are the most attainable for a standard New Zealand house and who wouldn't want to live in a home that's warmer, sustainable and more efficient?

The studies below demonstrate the value case for Homestar, whether you're building your own home or developing on a larger scale.

Homestar Case Study Cost Benefit Analysis

This 2013 study, carried out by environmental consultancy eCubed, analysed the energy and water savings achieved in homes rated 5, 6 and 7 Homestar. It also looked at the increased market value of high Homestar-rated houses. This study was based on an earlier version of homestar

Benefits for homeowners

  • Homestar’s minimum standards for insulation, ventilation and moisture extraction create a home that’s healthier to live in and cheaper to run.
  • Broadly speaking, in Auckland a 6 Homestar home will be 38% more energy efficient than a home built to the Building Code. (Potential savings vary from region to region.)
  • Looking to sell? A Homestar rating provides independent assurance to buyers about your home’s warmth, efficiency and sustainability, and international studies suggest highly rated homes attract a resale premium.
  • Going through the Homestar process prompts you to assess your home and how you use it, encouraging positive changes. A home that’s warm, dry and focused on sustainability is good for your quality of life and your finances.
Did you know?
  • An average-priced LED could save you $290 over the life of the bulb (source: EECA Energywise).
  • Replacing a 12-litre-per-minute showerhead with one that flows at eight litres can cut your hot water bill by $153 a year, while still offering a comfortable, effective shower (source: Consumer NZ).