Improving the energy efficiency of an office building can result in reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also creating energy savings for both owners and tenants that make economic sense.

Commercial Property Guide spoke to Peter Lovett from leading energy consultancy Green Pass about the 1st July changes to the mandatory disclosure threshold for National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) reporting.

Peter sees this a positive step forward towards making buildings more energy efficient as well as more attractive to investors. From 1 July 2017 there is to be a reduction in the Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) Program mandatory disclosure threshold to 1,000 sqm, down from the previous 2,000 sqm.

Peter goes on to elaborate, "The new changes stand to benefit the sector as a whole, further cementing a tremendous upturn in the energy performance of office buildings since the inception of the CBD program in 2010. However the changes also now present small building owners with additional obligations and compliance challenges."

What does this mean for you?

If you have a single office space or multiple spaces in the same building with a combined area of over 1,000 sqm, you will need to check your disclosure obligations and ascertain whether you need a NABERS rating and a Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC).

Often, but not always, small office buildings of around 1,000 sqm fall into an exception category, however it is vital that this is verified and that your position can be substantiated should personnel from the CBD team come knocking asking questions.

What is required?

A NABERS rating and BEEC conducted by an Accredited Assessor is required for office spaces 1,000 sqm and above.

A NABERS rating provides a building a star rating performance. NABERS is an excellent tool to benchmark a building’s energy performance and the results may be used to make improvements, attract premium buyers and tenants and achieve higher property sale prices.

Many Australian buildings now carry out annual NABERS ratings regardless of whether required for CBD. This voluntary practice assists with ongoing management and reporting. Many financial institutions are also requesting a NABERS rating be conducted on buildings as part of financial agreements.

You can conduct a NABERS rating at any time and do not need a sales or leasing event to trigger the need to have your building assessed. Voluntarily reviewing your energy performance through NABERS assessment is best practice and will assist you in understanding what your current and future obligations may be, should a sales or leasing event be approaching.

A BEEC is a final certificate that incorporates the NABERS rating and TLA; a lighting calculation of the wattage per square meter of the general office lighting.

What do I need to do?

Have a look at the CBD website for an overview of the Program, or for an informal chat to understand your obligations based on your unique property, you can call or email the Green Pass expert Assessor on 1800 06 07 02.

Green Pass is a specialist NABERS and BEEC assessment company with unparalleled experience in advising owners and managers on NABERS, BEECs and the CBD Program. We provide premium advice and solutions and ensure urgent NABERS and BEECs can be completed to ensure there are no delays with impending sales campaigns.