NABERS stands for National Australian Built Environment Rating System. A NABERS Energy for offices rating is part of a Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC).

NABERS is a national system run by the New South Wales Government on behalf of the Federal, State and Territory governments. It compares the energy consumption of a building against similar buildings.

The NABERS Energy for offices rating measures the efficiency of an office building using either:

  • the base building rating: this covers the performance of central services like heating and cooling systems, lifts and lobby lighting. The building owner usually manages these; or
  • the whole building rating: this is only used when utility meters can’t distinguish between the base building energy use and what the tenants are using. This usually happens when there is a single tenant occupying an entire building.

A NABERS Energy for offices rating is valid for a maximum period of 12 months.

Star rating

The NABERS Energy for offices rating on a BEEC includes:

  • a star rating for the building
  • the energy consumed over a year
  • greenhouse gas emission details.

The star rating indicates performance on a scale from zero to 6 stars.

  • A zero-star rating means the building is performing well below average and has lots of scope for improvement.
  • A 6-star rating indicates a market-leading performance with half the greenhouse gas emissions of a 5-star building.

Getting a NABERS Energy rating

To get a BEEC for a disclosure affected building you must have a NABERS Energy for offices rating done by a CBD Accredited Assessor. CBD Accredited Assessors use the NABERS Energy and Water for Offices Rules to make sure assessments are consistent.

It can take up to 4 months to get the first NABERS Energy for offices rating for the building or area. Getting what you need ready early will save you time and money.

Your CBD Accredited Assessor can tell you what documents you’ll need and help you contact any other persons who might have the information you need.

Information you’ll need includes, but is not limited to:

  • electricity, gas and diesel bills for at least the previous 12 months;
  • any certified survey plans that show the net lettable area for office tenancies;
  • the utility metering for the building and whether the base building and tenant power use is separate;
  • lease documents;
  • after-hours air-conditioning logs.

Visit the NABERS website for more information on what to prepare.

Find a CBD Accredited Assessor to conduct your assessment.

Existing NABERS Energy for offices ratings

You can find all current NABERS ratings on the NABERS website.

If there is already a NABERS Energy rating for a building, the CBD Accredited Assessor only needs to conduct a new Tenancy Lighting Assessment (TLA). They can then apply for the BEEC using the new TLA and the existing NABERS rating.

The CBD Accredited Assessor needs to make sure the rating is current and still applicable to the building.

A previous NABERS rating can’t be used if:

  • it is inclusive of any GreenPower purchases
  • it is a NABERS whole building rating, (unless there is no current base building rating and a new one can’t be worked out by the CBD Accredited Assessor)
  • it was certified before a major refurbishment started.

GreenPower program

The NABERS Energy rating used in a BEEC must not include purchases made under the GreenPower program. This is because a decision to purchase GreenPower doesn’t reflect the energy efficiency of the building. For more information visit the NABERS website. There are rules for using GreenPower-inclusive ratings to advertise a disclosure affected building.

NABERS Energy Commitment Agreement

When advertising a disclosure affected building, displaying a NABERS Energy Commitment Agreement rating on its own is not enough to comply with the CBD Program obligations.

You can disclose it in addition to the NABERS Energy for offices rating, for example when a building has received an exemption due to undertaking a major refurbishment, but it is not mandatory.

Advertising rules

There are further requirements for how NABERS ratings must be displayed on advertising.

For more information, read the rules for advertising.

Improve your rating

There are ways to improve the energy efficiency of your building, ranging from small changes to major refurbishments.

Read more about improving your NABERS Energy for offices rating.

Green Star rating

CBD Program disclosure obligations require a NABERS Energy rating. Green Star is a voluntary rating system that evaluates the environmental design and construction of new buildings. The Green Building Council of Australia manages the system.

There is no obligation under the CBD Program to have a Green Star rating.

Access to spaces and information

To complete the assessment for the BEEC, the CBD Accredited Assessor needs specific information and access to the disclosure affected building or area. Access to the disclosure affected building or area must be provided at a reasonable time (such as during business hours).

The Secretary of the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (the department) has powers under section 18 of the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 (the BEED Act) to require the provision of access and/or information. If these powers are exercised, you and other relevant parties will be informed in writing.

Owners and tenants must comply with an information gathering or access notice issued in writing or face civil penalties.

If a CBD Accredited Assessor is unable to complete a NABERS rating because they are denied access to required information or spaces, you may be eligible for an exemption based on the disclosure affected building or area being non-assessable. For further information and assistance, please contact us.

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