In July 2010 we reported on the
Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Bill 2010 which
foreshadowed the introduction of the Building Energy Efficiency
Disclosure Act 2010 (Cth) (Act). The Act established a scheme
for the national mandatory disclosure of the energy efficiency of
certain commercial buildings. The transition period under the Act
ends on 1 November 2011.
What is required from 1 November 2011?
During the transition period, most owners and lessors have been
required to disclose a valid National Australian Built Environment
Rating System (NABERS) energy star rating when offering for sale,
lease or sublease commercial office space with a net lettable area
of 2,000 m2 or more (unless an exemption applies).
From 1 November 2011, owners and lessors of affected buildings
will need to obtain and register a valid building energy efficiency
What are the requirements of a BEEC?
A BEEC has three components:
the existing NABERS energy efficiency rating for the
information about the energy efficiency of the tenancy
generic guidance on how energy efficiency for the building
might be improved.
All BEECs will be available to the public via an online
registry. Owners and lessors will also have an obligation to
provide prospective purchasers and tenants with a copy of a BEEC
A BEEC will be valid for 12 months and must be prepared and
registered by an accredited assessor. It is important BEECs are
renewed on time for each building and that there is no lapsing
Owners and lessors will also be required to disclose the
building energy efficiency rating in any advertisements for the
sale, lease or sublease of an affected building. Each advertisement
not disclosing the energy efficiency rating will be considered a
separate breach of the disclosure obligations.
What happens if you don't comply?
You will risk delays in the sale or lease of an affected
Fines of up to A$110,000 per breach, with the potential for
ongoing penalties for each day of a continuing breach.
What should you do before 1 November 2011?
Consider whether you are an owner or lessor of an affected
building. Note that there are a number of exceptions to the
disclosure obligations, some of which include: strata titled
buildings, new (less than two years old) or significantly
refurbished buildings, short term leases, leases within a building
for a net lettable area of less than 2,000 m2 and buildings which
have less then 75% commercial office space.
Speak with an accredited assessor to find out what is required
to obtain a BEEC, how long it will take and how much it will cost
so you have plenty of time to comply before the transition period
Check that your leases include appropriate clauses to ensure
tenants work with the landlord to improve energy efficiency,
maintain detailed and up to date energy records, and allow
unrestricted access for assessments and works.
Ensure sale contracts for affected buildings contain specific
BEEC disclosures and that advertising requirements in the Act are
strictly adhered to.
Consider how you propose to deal with energy efficiency
obligations between yourself and your managing agents.
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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