NABERS Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion: Don’t get caught on the wrong side of the fence 

In Brief

With the com­mer­cial prop­er­ty mar­ket heat­ing up, if you are a ven­dor or a lessor you should ensure that your build­ing has appro­pri­ate NABERS cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in place. The Com­mer­cial Build­ing Dis­clo­sure (CBD) Pro­gram requires ven­dors and land­lords of dis­clo­sure-affect­ed build­ings to obtain a Build­ing Ener­gy Effi­cien­cy Cer­tifi­cate (BEEC), before the build­ing goes on the mar­ket for sale, lease or sublease.

What is a dis­clo­sure affect­ed building?

Nor­mal­ly, a build­ing will be dis­clo­sure-affect­ed if that build­ing is:

  1. a com­mer­cial office build­ing with a net let­table area of greater than 2,000 m²;
  2. used for admin­is­tra­tive, cler­i­cal, pro­fes­sion­al or oth­er infor­ma­tion-based activ­i­ties and includes any sup­port facil­i­ties for those activ­i­ties; and
  3. for sale, lease or sublease.

What build­ings are not affected?

A build­ing may not be dis­clo­sure-affect­ed if that build­ing is:

  1. a mixed-use build­ing with less than 75% net let­table office space area; 
  2. a new build­ing, where there is a cer­tifi­cate of occu­pan­cy less than 2 years old;
  3. strata-titled;
  4. trans­ferred through the sale of shares or units of interest;
  5. leased on a short term lease, (i.e. for a peri­od of less than 12 months); or
  6. leased by exer­cis­ing an option to renew or extend­ing an exist­ing lease.

What does a ven­dor or land­lord do if the build­ing is dis­clo­sure affected?

If a build­ing is dis­clo­sure-effect­ed, the ven­dor or land­lord will require a Build­ing Ener­gy Effi­cien­cy Cer­tifi­cate (BEEC) before the build­ing is placed on the mar­ket for sale or lease. BEECs include the building’s Nation­al Aus­tralian Built Envi­ron­ment Rat­ing Sys­tem (NABERS) Ener­gy star rat­ing, a ten­an­cy light­ing assess­ment of the rel­e­vant area of the build­ing and gen­er­al ener­gy effi­cien­cy guid­ance. The build­ing’s NABERS rat­ing will also need to be includ­ed on all adver­tis­ing material.

BEEC is valid for 12 months, must be pub­li­cal­ly acces­si­ble on the online BEEC reg­is­ter and must include:

  1. NABERS Ener­gy star rat­ing for the building;
  2. an assess­ment of the ener­gy effi­cien­cy of ten­an­cy light­ing in the area of the build­ing that is being sold or leased; and
  3. gen­er­al ener­gy effi­cien­cy guidance.

To obtain a BEEC, a CBD accred­it­ed asses­sor must be engaged. Infor­ma­tion on accred­it­ed CBD asses­sors can be found at: http://​www​.cbd​.gov​.au/​r​e​g​i​s​t​e​r​s​/​f​i​n​d​-​a​-​c​b​d​-​a​c​c​r​e​d​i​t​e​d​-​a​s​s​essor

What penal­ties apply for non compliance?

The Penal­ties for fail­ing to com­ply with the Build­ing Ener­gy Effi­cien­cy Dis­clo­sure Act are cost­ly and can include fines of up to $170,000.

In order to avoid these cost­ly penal­ties, a ven­dor or lessor of a dis­clo­sure-effect­ed must not:

(a) offer, or con­tin­ue to offer, to sell a building;
(b) invite offers, or con­tin­ue to invite offers, to pur­chase a building;
(c) offer, or con­tin­ue to offer, to let a build­ing; or
(d) invite offers, or con­tin­ue to invite offers, to lease a build­ing unless there is a valid, cur­rent and reg­is­tered BEEC for the building.