The Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010
(Cth) (the Act) commenced on 1 July 2010. Introduced as part
of the Federal Government's National Strategy on Energy
Efficiency, the Act places obligations on owners and landlords of
large commercial office spaces to disclose energy efficiency
information to purchasers and tenants.
The Act applies to owners, landlords and sub-lessors who are
selling, leasing or subleasing buildings or areas of a building,
with a net lettable area of 2000 square metres or more.
Requirements under the Act
The Act requires that:
owners and landlords wishing to sell, lease or make offers to
sell or lease buildings must hold a valid, current building energy
owners and landlords must provide a copy of a valid, current
building energy efficiency certificate at the request of a
prospective purchaser or tenant
advertisements for the sale, lease or sublease of a building
must include an energy efficiency rating.
The Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Regulations 2010 (the
Regulations) have been made pursuant to the Act, and is taken to
also commence on 1 July 2010. The Regulations prescribe (amongst
information that must be included in a building energy
how to apply for an exemption from an energy efficiency
the accreditation and training of assessors.
Building energy efficiency certificates (BEECS)
A BEEC is a certificate that discloses the energy efficiency
information of a building. The Regulations provide that a BEEC must
the net lettable area of the building
the hours of occupancy for the building
the energy consumption of the building
the greenhouse gas emissions generated by the building
an energy efficiency rating.
Under the Act, only an accredited assessor can prepare a BEEC.
Once issued, the BEEC must be registered with the Building Energy
Efficiency Register and is valid for up to 12 months.
The Act provides for a transitional period of 12 months
beginning on implementation day. The date of implementation day has
not yet been set but is expected to be within the next six months.
During the transitional period, a valid National Australian Built
Environment Rating System (NABERS) can be disclosed in place of a
There are no restrictions on who can make an application for an
exemption from an energy efficiency disclosure obligation. The
application must be made in writing and attracts a fee. The Act
provides that some buildings may be exempt from disclosure,
including buildings or areas of a building:
that are used for police or security operations
in which it is not possible to assign an energy efficiency
in which it is not possible to assess the energy efficiency of
the lighting; or
instances that may later be prescribed in the Regulations.
The Act gives auditors various powers to enforce compliance with
the legislation, including the power to enter a building or an area
of a building, by consent or under warrant. Auditors also have
powers to search premises and inspect documents and electronic
equipment. During a search of the premises, occupiers must answer
any questions asked by an auditor and produce documents
Any person who fails to meet their disclosure obligations two or
more times within a 12 month period will be recorded in the Energy
Efficiency Non-Disclosure Register.
In addition, there are also penalties for non-compliance. An
owner or landlord that sells or leases a building without a valid
BEEC, or does not include a valid, current energy efficiency rating
in an advertisement for the sale or lease of a property may face
penalties of up to A$110,000.
It is imperative that owners, landlords and sub-lessors
understand how to comply with the Act and the Regulations, and
start to take action to ensure their buildings are energy
efficient. Non-compliance with the legislation could lead to
penalties and delays in selling and leasing properties. During the
transition period, owners, landlords and sub-lessors of commercial
properties falling within the Act should consider obtaining a
rating from NABERS to avoid any delays in selling or leasing.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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