On Saturday the Federal Energy Minister launched a new
initiative aimed at improving energy efficiency in Strata units.
This initiative, called Smart Blocks, comes as the result of the
identified rise in medium to high density strata living across
Australia, and the recognition that many strata communities can
benefit from reduced energy costs as a result of changes that
improve energy efficiency.
How does it work?
Smart Blocks provides tenants with a 'toolkit' for
approaching building owners and managers to seek improvements in
energy efficiency. Along with the already established NABERS and
Green Star energy rating systems, these measures are likely to
further increase the demand for specific clauses in contracts that
require owners, builders and tenants to maintain or even improve a
building's energy use over time.
What does this mean for building owners, managers and
Smart Blocks is a tool that will increase awareness about the
potential costs savings of greener buildings. Tenants looking at
entering into new leases or re-negotiating existing ones will
increasingly seek buildings with better energy ratings to enjoy the
benefits from a building's energy efficiency. Owners and
developers will need to be seen to contribute to such initiatives
as consumers become increasingly aware of energy choices. The
forces may require new works to be undertaken, installation of more
sophisticated energy monitoring tools and the provision of accurate
data about a building's energy use.
What does this mean for tenants?
Aside from being in a better position to tackle inefficient and
power-hungry buildings with the new Smart Blocks toolkit, tenants
need to be aware of any relevant lease obligations to cooperate
with owners and managers in implementing new energy efficiency
Overall, it's clear that Smart Blocks is yet another
initiative that forms part of a push for greener buildings and a
cleaner environment, putting positive pressure on developers,
builders, owners, managers and tenants alike. Parties need to be
aware of not only the opportunities that such initiatives pose, but
also their obligations in implementing ways to improve a
building's energy use.
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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