FR5 Software

FirstRate5® house energy rating software

FirstRate5® is an easy-to-use interactive tool with a graphic user interface that enables designers and thermal performance assessors to generate energy ratings for a home by tracing over floor plans. The software integrates the AccuRate calculation engine to estimate the annual heating and cooling energy and can be used to rate an existing design or as an interactive tool to optimise the design beyond compliance.

Latest news

NCC 2022 Update - Release of FR5 v5.5.3 & New NatHERS Certificate

by Sustainability Victoria Energy Software Team | Sep 28, 2023

Sustainability Victoria (SV) is pleased to announce that FirstRate5 v5.5.3 (3.22) has successfully passed the NatHERS accreditation process and is now available as a free download from

FR5 v5.5.3 (3.22) can be used for NatHERS thermal assessments to demonstrate compliance with NCC 2022 and will produce the new NatHERS certificate when uploaded to the FirstRate5 website.

A complete list of software updates is contained in the release notes (see ‘Release Notes’ under the Help menu - review all changes from v5.5.0 beta onwards). The major updates contained in FR5 v5.5.3 (3.22) are the following:

  • Added functionality to specify thermal bridging for steel framed houses.
  • Updated NatHERS climate files and star bands.
  • Updated the ABCB and BASIX heating and cooling load limits.
  • Updated the Chenath Engine from version 3.21 to 3.22.
  • Added the Optimise tab to assist users with rapidly optimising project files.
  • Updated the Global Zoning tab to allow for the calculation of multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Added the ability to auto scale backgrounds when importing.
  • Added functionality to enable openings to be quickly duplicated.
  • Added the ability to lock screen heights relative to the ground plane.
  • Added new ceiling fan sizes
  • Added the ability to add blower door test result in non-regulation mode.
  • Added a user acknowledgement that must be accepted for each assessment.

The FirstRate5 (FR5) user manual and has been updated and three videos have been prepared to explain the main features contained in FR5 v5.5.3 (3.22). The first video provides a general overview of the main updates included in FR5 v5.5.3 (3.22). The second video explains the use of the thermal bridging functionality. The third video explains the use of the new optimisation functionality. 

Users should note that all beta version of FirstRate5 that SV has previously released for testing purposes (e.g. FR5 v5.5.1a) will no longer complete the authentication process and will not open. SV recommends that users uninstall all beta versions.

At this stage, Whole of Home assessments for regulatory purpose are not available. These will become available when the FirstRate5 Whole of Home Tool is released later in 2023.

NCC 2019 & 2022 Software Transitional Arrangements

Most states and territories have announced an extended transition period for the introduction of the NCC 2022 energy efficiency requirements, during which assessors will be able to comply with either NCC 2019 or NCC 2022.

During the transition period to NCC 2022, the NatHERS Administrator will accept blanket approvals from the relevant jurisdictions granting permission for assessors to use NCC2019 compatible legacy software as required. During the transition period both FR5 v5.3.2b (3.21) and FR5 v5.5.3 (3.22) will calculate automatically on the FR5 website until the jurisdictional transition periods and blanket approvals expire.

As these transitions periods and blanket approvals end in each state/territory, FR5 v5.3.2b will cease to calculate automatically and will move to the standard legacy request process.

Assessors should refer to the NatHERS website for the latest information about the NCC 2019 & 2022 Software Transitional Arrangements.

Changes to the Star Ratings for Upgraded Project Files

Users should note that when project files created in previous versions of FR5 are upgraded to FR5 v5.5.3 (3.22), the star rating results may change. These changes will largely be the result of the introduction of the new NatHERS climate files and star bands.

Further information about how the NatHERS Administrator has managed the impact updated climate files will have on star ratings can be found on the NatHERS website.

Release of the new NatHERS Certificate

FR5 v5.5.3 (3.22) project files uploaded to the FR5 website will produce the new NatHERS Certificate. The new certificate has a new layout and information about NCC 2022 requirements.

At this stage, all Whole of Home information in the new certificate will not be populated. The combined NatHERS Whole of Home and Thermal certificate will be available after SV releases the FR5 Whole of Home Tool later in 2023. 

Assessors should note that projects files created using earlier versions of FirstRate5 will continue to produce the previous version of the certificate.

More information about the new NatHERS Certificate can be found on the NatHERS website.

Updated FR5 End User Terms of Service & Software Licence Agreement Now Effective 

The updated FR5 End User Terms of Service and FR5 Software Licence Agreement announced on 29 August 2023 have now come into effect. Users can refer to this previous news story  for further information. 

Update on the accreditation of the FirstRate5 Whole of Home Tool

SV has submitted an updated FirstRate Whole of Home Tool for NatHERS accreditation and are confident it will pass the NatHERS accreditation process. SV plans to release the final Whole of Home tool later in 2023.

In the meantime, assessors can use the ABCB Whole of Home calculator in order to meet the NCC 2022 requirements outlined in Part 13.6 of ABCB Housing Provisions and J3D14 of NCC Volume One.

Note: It is the user’s responsibility to ensure certificates are produced with the appropriate version. If a user chooses to inappropriately use an earlier version of FR5 to produce a certificate, they run the risk that a Building Surveyor will reject the certificate leading to further certificate costs.
Note: Installation of minor releases involving a letter change, eg,  v5.2.10a to v5.2.10b, will by default overwrite the previous version, while major releases involving a number change, eg, v5.2.11 (3.13) to v5.3.0 (3.21), will by default install beside older versions.
Looking to login? Login and register buttons have a new home in the green bar above.