NATHERS: SCIENCE AND NON-SCIENCE

  • YEAR
    2001
  • AUTHORS
    Williamson, Terry
    O’Shea, S.
    Menadue, Vanessa
  • CATEGORIES
    2001 Conference Papers

Extract

A paper by Williamson at the most recent ANZAScA conference speculated from limited data that the
Australian Nationwide Home Energy Rating scheme (NatHERS) failed its commonly held objective
because there was most likely little correlation between the rating and actual household heating and
cooling energy consumption. Data has now been collected from a sample of relatively new households
in and around Adelaide to corroborate (or otherwise) the scheme. This paper begins by exploring the
“official” and the common statements or objectives of the scheme. The common understanding for the
scheme is that a house with a higher rating will on average use less energy for heating and cooling
compared to one with a lower rating. Taking Popper’s demarcation between science and non-science
as falsifiability then this statement is science-like while the “official” statement is not. The common
statement is tested by comparing NatHERS ratings with actual heating and cooling energy
consumption (and greenhouse gas emissions) and found to be wanting. The paper concludes with
some suggestions to bring the scheme in line with expectations.

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