Energy Efficiency Ratings and Mandatory Disclosure

COMING SOON: before you sell or rent your home, you will need an energy efficiency audit
unhappy about dishonest tradersSadly, this advice is now wrong!

PLEASE NOTE: Mandatory disclosure of the energy efficiency of a building was legislated for commercial buildings in 2010 and the previous government promised to extend the legislation to cover residential buildings. It never got around to doing it and homeowners must be alert to unscrupulous window tinting companies that exaggerate film performance, particularly the amount of heat blocked.

The HIA recommendation to builders (see below) is advice that all homeowners should also heed.

WARNING:Homeowners need to be on guard against operators that offer window tinting film that is not energy rated. Why should you worry?
  • Price: Typically, unrated films are 1/2 the price of WERS Energy Rated films - Don't pay more than $25M2 for unrated films.
  • Property Value: Sadly, with Mandatory Disclosure, many homeowners will not discover their home is worth thousands less than they thought it was worth until it is time to sell.
Why take a risk? Choose a WERS Rated film - listed here

Q. Why is it important to choose an Energy Rated Film?

 A. The Australian Government is enacting legislation that mandates the disclosure of the energy efficiency of commercial and residential properties prior to sale or lease

This means that before a building can be sold or leased the property owner must get an energy efficiency audit and disclose the audit results to prospective buyers and/or tenants. The energy efficiency audit forms part of the sale or lease documents

  • Mandatory disclosure for Commercial buildings came into effect in Nov 2010 (Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010), and
  • the govt announced mandatory disclosure would be extended to residential buildings in the future

It is very important that solar control window films installed at your property are WERS rated to ensure the energy efficiency benefits get counted in the energy audit of your home.

  • If it’s not rated, it's not counted

hia-logoHIA Recommends WERS

The Housing Industry Association has advised members to use WERS certifed products to be sure of the energy claims.

The HIA has released this information under the heading "Ensure the energy rating on your windows is WERS to be confident of true performance" and continues to explain how "Installation of incorrect product with incorrect performance will be a costly mistake for builder and owner alike."

The HIA website includes information for builders and owners in regards to, "Why you should choose energy rated windows?", " What do I look for to understand the performance of a window?" and "What Windows Should I Use Where?".

If the energy efficiency benefits of window tinting is not counted because an unrated film was installed it could reduce the property value by thousands of dollars.

Mandatory disclosure has operated in the Canberra housing market for the past 10 years and based on the experience in the ACT, every $1,000 of expenditure on improvements to energy efficiency of the building (such as installing solar control window tinting) will increase the resale value of the property by about $5,000 – a 500% return on investment.

Don't risk your property's resale value

Play it safe and choose an energy rated film that is listed on the
WERS website

Performance verified solar control window tinting films are listed on the International Glazing Database (IGDB) maintained by the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkley Laboratory.  To get listed in the database, the film's performance data must be independently verified by a US Department of Energy accredited testing facility.


In Australia the Windows Energy Rating Scheme (WERS) uses the window film performance data in the IGDB to calculate the energy star rating of different window frame and film combinations - the window energy ratings are used in the calculation of the overall building energy efficiency rating required under the Building Code of Australia.

  • Smart Films are WERS rated
REMEMBER:If it’s not rated, it doesn't count
in calculating your Energy Efficiency Rating under Mandatory Disclosure

A listing in the IGDB is a prestigeous achievement within the window film industry.If a film supplier claims a film is made in the USA and it is not listed on the IGDB (or WERS) then perhaps it is a sub-standard product

TAKE CARE (caveat emptor) ... and avoid a costly mistake
Choose a film that is WERS rated

Unrated films are typically 25% to 50% less than WERS Rated films
(If you want the lowest price, check the price of our unrated ECO films here)


 Smart Films solar control window films are;

  1. Made in USA in an ISO 9001:2000 Quality Certified factory and backed by a Lifetime Residential / 10 Year Commercial Warranty
  2. Listed in the IGDB following independent verification of performance data (The IGDB reference number is shown for each Smart Films on the Spec Sheet).
  3. WERS rated in Australia on aluminium and timber window frames with single and double glazing


The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed in July 2009 that from 2011 the energy efficiency rating for houses will increase from 5 to 6 stars. Mandatory disclosure of energy efficiency for commercial buildings will commence in 2010 and for residential buildings by 2011 (delayed until 2012).

Five key measures have been agreed to improve the energy efficiency of both residential and commercial buildings across Australia:
1.    increasing the level of energy efficiency requirements for all  commercial buildings by 2010 through the building code of Australia
2.    phasing in the mandatory disclosure of the energy efficiency of commercial buildings and tenancies from 2010
3.    increasing energy efficiency requirements for new residential buildings to six stars, or equivalent, nationally in the 2010 update of the Building Code of Australia, as well as introducing new efficiency requirements for hot-water systems and lighting
4.    phasing in mandatory disclosure of residential building energy, greenhouse and water performance at the time of sale or lease, commencing with energy efficiency, from May 2011
5.    reforming current building energy efficiency standard and assessment processes to achieve consistency across the nation

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government introduced mandatory disclosure for energy efficiency 10 years ago that requires that the star rating of any home be provided to any potential buyer.  Over this period an average 3% increase in sale price has been achieved for each one star rating increase (eg. a 5 star rated home will attract, on average, a 9% higher price than an equivalent home with a 2 star rating). A 3% price increase on a $500,000 home is $15,000.

Clearly, decisions we make today to improve the energy efficiency of our home can affect its value when it’s time to sell (for better and for worse).

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