Imminent Changes to Mandatory Disclosure of Commercial Buildings' Energy Efficiency
From 1st July 2017, the mandatory disclosure threshold of a commercial building's energy efficiency will be lowered from 2,000 sqm to 1,000 sqm. This will affect a large number of commercial landlords, their property and facility managers, tenants, sales and leasing agents and existing CBD accredited assessors. All parties involved will have to have planning and procedures in place to conform to the new requirements in just four weeks time.
The overarching obligation is as follows:
“From 1st July 2017, this expansion of the CBD program will require the majority of vendors and lessors of office space of 1,000 square metres or more (previously 2,000 square metres) to obtain a Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) before the building goes on the market for sale, lease or sublease.”
What is a BEEC?
A Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) sets out the energy efficiency rating of a building or area of a building that is offered for sale, lease or sublease and contains two parts:
Part 1 consists of a National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) Energy for offices rating for the building. This provides information on the building’s energy efficiency. It must be a base or whole building rating. For more information see NABERS Energy for Offices here.
Part 2 consists of a CBD Tenancy Lighting Assessment (TLA) for the area of the building that is being sold, leased or subleased. The TLA is an assessment of tenancy lighting that measures the power density of the installed general lighting system.
Further information on what comprises a BEEC can be read here.
How to Obtain a BEEC
- Check if the building already has a BEEC. Search the Building Energy Efficiency Register here.
- Engage a CBD accredited assessor and agree on fees and charges. You can search the Register of CBD accredited assessors here, or contact MBM for a recommendation.
- Gather the required information including energy bills, net lettable area and lease documents.
- A CBD accredited assessor conducts an on-site assessment.
- A CBD assessor submits the BEEC application as required under the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010.
- The application is approved, issued to the CBD assessor for display and the BEEC is added to the Building Energy Efficiency Register.
Civil penalties of up to $180,000 for the first day of non-compliance and up to $18,000 for each subsequent day of non-compliance may be imposed by a court. Alternatively, the Department of the Environment and Energy may issue an infringement notice of up to $18,000 for the first day and up to $1,800 for each subsequent day of non-compliance. Read the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 here.
Alan Stewart is a Senior Building Surveyor within the MBM Building Consultancy Team specialising in commercial, public and residential property sectors assisting landlords, tenants, property, fund and strata managers with their built assets.