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

Release of FirstRate5 Whole of Home (v1.0.0)

by Sustainability Victoria Energy Software Team | Dec 21, 2023

Sustainability Victoria (SV) is pleased to announce that FirstRate5 Whole of Home (v1.0.0) (FR5 WoH (v1.0.0)) has successfully passed the NatHERS accreditation process and is now available to all FirstRate5 users. 

This is a beta version of the tool that has known limitations and software bugs. Please refer to the limitations and software bugs section below for further details.

SV has released this beta version to assist assessors with familiarising themselves with completing Whole of Home assessments before the NCC 2022 transitions periods come to an end in 2024.

FR5 WoH (v1.0.0) is used in conjunction with FirstRate5 to demonstrate compliance with the energy efficiency requirements in the National Construction Code 2022. FirstRate5 Whole of Home will calculate the Whole of Home Performance Rating that is contained in the NatHERS Whole of Home Certificate.

Currently, Whole of Home assessments completed using FR5 WoH (v1.0.0) cannot be used to generate updated NatHERS Certificates. Full certificate generation functionality is expected to be ready in early 2024.

Users should ensure they are familiar with the current NatHERS Technical Note before completing Whole of Home assessments in FR5 WoH (v1.0.0).

Accessing FR5 WoH (v1.0.0) and release of draft manual

Users can login to FR5 WoH (v1.0.0) by visiting the following website - Users will need to enter their FirstRate5 website login credentials. Users will only be able to import projects files that have been created in version FR5 v5.5.3 or later and are in the ‘Certificate Available’ or ‘Replacement Available status.

SV has prepared a draft PDF user manual for FR5 WoH (v1.0.0) that is available on the FirstRate5 website. Users should carefully read through the manual to learn how to import FirstRate5 project files into FR5 WoH (v1.0.0) and complete a valid Whole of Home assessment. 

Decommissioning of the FirstRate5 Whole-of-Home Pilot Tool

Over the last 2 years, some users have been completing assessments using the ‘FirstRate5 Whole-of-Home Pilot Tool’.

The pilot tool will continue to be accessible to registered users until 31 January 2024, after which it will be decommissioned. As previously announced by SV, assessments completed in the pilot tool will not be migrated across to FR5 WoH (v1.0.0).

List of known limitations and software bugs for FR5 WoH (v1.0.0)

FR5 WoH (v1.0.0) is a beta version that has known limitations and software bugs. Please refer to the table below for a complete list. The list will be updated if further issues are reported to SV. If you encounter additional bugs please report these to the FirstRate5 help desk.


Date recordedLimitationDescription
20/12/2023NatHERS Whole of Home Certificate not available.Assessments completed in FR5 WoH (v1.0.0) cannot be used to generate NatHERS Whole of Home Certificates. Full certificate generation functionality is expected to be completed in early 2024.

The ’Send assessment to finalise my certificate’ button in the tool should not be used at this stage.
20/12/2023Hot water solar PV diverter system cannot be modelled.Hot water solar PV diverter systems cannot be model. The hot water module will be updated in the future to include this type of water heater.

In the meantime, the NatHERS Administrator has informed SV that users should use the default water heater specified in the NatHERS Technical Note if a hot water solar PV diverter system is specified in design documentation.

Software bugs

Date recordedBugDescription
20/12/2023‘Duplicate Project’ functionality not working reliably.The ‘Duplicate Project’ functionality in the tool is not working as expected and produces unusual results in some scenarios. Users are advised to not use this functionality at this stage.
20/12/2023Formatting issues with downloadable PDF report.The PDF report that can be downloaded for an assessment can have formatting issues (e.g. information breaking over two pages) depending upon the number of appliances specified.
20/12/2023‘Import project files’ list does not update after initial login.The list of available projects shown in the ‘Import project files’ window does not update after the initial login. This means that this list is not updated if a user subsequently uploads more projects to their linked FirstRate5 account after the initial login.

The list can only be refreshed by logging out of the tool and then logging back in.
20/12/2023Zone type ‘Conditioned Garage’ not displayed.The FirstRate5 zone type ‘Conditioned garage’ is not being identified by the tool and is not displayed. This means a heater/cooler cannot be specified for this zone type.
20/12/2023Project results not updating when changes are made to selections.SV is aware of several instances where a project fails to load correctly, and this prevents the project from calculating. When this situation occurs, the assessment results fail to update when changes are made to the appliance selections.

SV is in the process of determining the root cause of this issue. If you come across this bug please report it to the FirstRate5 help desk.
20/12/2023Project status fails to update.Occasionally a project gets stuck in the ‘Importing’ status on the ‘All Projects’ page. This can occur more frequently if a user is importing multiple projects in a single action.

In this situation, even though the status is shown as ‘Importing’, the project can still be edited. If a user clicks through and edits the project, when they exit the project the status will update to the correct status.
20/12/2023Whole of Home Performance Rating calculated without required minimum information being entered.Currently the tool will calculate a Whole of Home Performance Rating for an assessment even when the required minimum information specified in the NatHERS Technical Note has not been entered.

SV will add validations to the tool to ensure the required minimum information is entered before the rating is calculated.
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