New energy efficiency disclosure obligations to commence shortly for owners and tenants of large office buildings

1 July 2010

The Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 (Cth) (Act) was assented to by the Federal Parliament on 28 June 2010.

The Act provides for the establishment of a national compulsory disclosure scheme relating to energy efficiency for owners and tenants of large office buildings. It is part of the Federal Government’s National Strategy on Energy Efficiency. The stated aim is to assist prospective buyers and lessees in the commercial office market to consider energy efficiency in their decision-making.

Since publication of this Brief, the Federal Government has released the:

  1. Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Regulations 2010 (Cth) which will have effect from 1 July 2010;
  2. Released two determinations under the Act; and
  3. Made a number of announcements.

The effect of the above is as follows:

  • Disclosure obligations for buildings covered by the Scheme commence on 1 November 2010. The one year transition period also commences on 1 November 2010 and ends 31 October 2011, during which time a NABERS rating may be used in place of a full Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC).
  • “Disclosure affected buildings” have been determined as being a building, or part of a building, with a net lettable area of 2000m² or more and that is used for administrative, clerical, professional or similar information-based activities, including any support facilities for those activities that are located in that area.
  • Newly constructed buildings (under 2 years old) and strata title buildings are not caught by the Scheme.
  • Guidance material for BEECs relating to how energy efficiency may be improved and standards for advertising have now been issued by the Secretary of the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.

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