When you need to provide information and access for an assessment
Energy use in a building is often controlled by both owners and tenants, and some leasing arrangements may prevent the flow of energy use information between them. Section 18 of the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 (BEED Act) deals with this information barrier by providing CBD accredited assessors the power to obtain information and access to buildings and areas in certain situations:
- If a CBD accredited assessor is engaged by the owner or lessor of a disclosure affected office to produce a BEEC in order to satisfy a disclosure obligation, and
- The CBD assessor reasonably believes that an owner, lessee or sublessee of the building has information that is necessary for the purposes of the assessment, then
- The CBD assessor can require that person, by notice in writing, to provide the information.
The CBD assessor may also, by notice in writing, request access to a disclosure affected office at a reasonable time (e.g. during business hours) for the purposes of conducting the assessment. However, under certain circumstances owners, lessees or sublessees may apply for an exemption from these requirements (see Exceptions and Exemptions).
In some cases, relevant energy use information is held by former owners and/or tenants. While the Act does not give CBD accredited assessors the power to compel these parties to provide the information, all reasonable efforts should be made to obtain it. At a minimum, this would include evidence of a written request for the information.
What happens if I don’t comply with a request to provide information or access?
Civil penalties may be imposed for failing to provide access or information as required. Penalties imposed by a Court may be:
- up to $90,000 for the first day and $9,000 for each subsequent day for a body corporate
- up to $36,000 for the first day and $3,600 for each subsequent day for an individual.
Alternatively, the Secretary of the Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy may issue infringement notices in relation to contraventions. An infringement notice may require payment of a penalty of up to $9,000 for the first day and $900 for each subsequent day for a body corporate, and $3,600 for the first day and $360 for each subsequent day for an individual.