How to use a BEEC
A Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) discloses current energy efficiency information at the time of sale or lease of office space of 1000 square metres or more. BEECs include a National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) Energy for offices rating and a CBD Tenancy Lighting Assessment (TLA).
BEECS are used in several ways:
- BEECs must be provided on request to potential buyers or lessees at the time of sale, lease or sublease
- BEECs must also be publicly accessible on the Building Energy Efficiency Register. The Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources approves BEEC applications and adds the BEEC to the Register
- The building’s NABERS Energy for offices star rating from the BEEC must be included in any advertising material for the sale, lease or sublease
- Building owners or lessors can display the BEEC in their premises and use it to promote the energy efficiency of the building to help market the building or area to prospective buyers or tenants.
How long does a BEEC stay current?
BEECs are valid for up to 12 months. The current to date can be found in the top right of the first page of the BEEC.
A BEEC remains current until either the NABERS Energy for offices rating or TLA expires, whichever is first. This will depend on whether a new or pre-existing rating is used. For example, if the NABERS Energy rating is valid until 23 September 2013 and the lighting assessment is valid until 14 March 2014, the approved BEEC expires on 23 September 2013.
To assist building owners, the CBD Program is using a single-step BEEC application process to streamline the approval. Along with this single-step process, both NABERS and CBD are allowing an application renewal process to ensure the maximum period of 12 months can be achieved for a BEEC, similar to how you would renew your car registration or insurance. This streamlined process reduces the burden on the industry to comply with their disclosure obligations.
Do BEECs have to be continually maintained?
The Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 does not require you to continually maintain a current BEEC.
A constitutional corporation, only needs a BEEC before advertising or offering for sale, lease or sublease any disclosure affected office space of 1000 square metres or more.
Those who are not a constitutional corporation only need a BEEC if you offer disclosure affected office space for sale, lease or sublease and an interested constitutional corporation requests a BEEC.
Some building owners or lessors may decide as part of business planning, however, to have annual NABERS Energy for offices ratings and TLAs to continuously maintain a valid BEEC. Others may choose instead to have annual NABERS Energy ratings and only carry out a TLA if required. Also, given that extending a lease on different terms may attract the energy efficiency disclosure obligations, some building owners and sub lessors with tenants approaching the end of their current lease or sublease, may wish to prepare for the sale or lease by maintaining a valid, current BEEC.
It can take up to eight weeks to obtain the individual NABERS and TLA ratings that form a BEEC, so this is a business decision based on appropriateness and cost effectiveness of maintaining a continuous rating.
Updating or Renewing a BEEC
The Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources maintain one BEEC per building. However, we recognise that there may be circumstances when BEECs and NABERS ratings expire at different times or when owners or lessors need to update a BEEC to sell, lease or sublease parts of a building not previously covered.
A BEEC can contain one NABERS rating for the building but have multiple TLA ratings depending on the areas that the Building owner is wishing to offer for lease or sale. The BEEC can be updated with these areas at any time if the building owner wishes to proceed with this approach; alternatively the Building owner may capture the entire building even if they are only offering certain areas.
Although we have streamlined the application process the Building Owner can still achieve their BEEC in various methods depending on their individual circumstances which include:
- Submitting separate NABERS and TLA applications and then submitting the BEEC application upon those applications being approved which means the BEEC will expire when either the NABERS energy rating or TLA expire, whichever is first
- Submitting a BEEC application which includes a new TLA and new NABERS rating (not approved yet) and the BEEC expiry date will match the expiry date of the NABERS rating to ensure 12 months validity of the BEEC
- Submitting a BEEC application which includes a new TLA with a renewed NABERS rating and the BEEC will have a ‘current from’ and ‘current to’ date matching the renewed NABERS rating thus ensuring another 12 months validity period following the expiry of the previous BEEC.
The CBD team is happy to work with Building Owners and Portfolio managers to assist where possible to achieve maximum validity of a BEEC and reduce the burden of obtaining or renewing a BEEC to ensure compliance with their disclosure obligations.