Commercial buildings (NABERS)
Find out about applying for a National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) star rating for energy efficiency in commercial buildings
Commercial buildings can save significant amounts of electricity through thoughtful design of the building and the way the various control systems and services operate.
Controlling of air conditioning and lighting, so that these systems only operate as required, can significantly reduce the electricity consumed by commercial buildings.
NABERS star ratings for energy efficiency
Owners and tenants of office buildings, shopping centres and hotels implementing energy efficiency measures can apply for a National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) rating in order to promote their environmental credentials.
Under NABERS, whole buildings, base buildings and tenancies are able to receive a star rating ranging from a minimum of one for poor efficiency up to a maximum of 6 for exceptionally efficient buildings. The star rating for energy efficiency is based on the greenhouse gas emissions intensity (kgCO2/m2) per unit area of floor space in the building. NABERS uses measured and verified performance information to rate energy efficiency, water usage, waste management and indoor environmental quality.
NABERS ratings can typically be obtained retrospectively (ie. for a period that is months or years prior to the date of application) providing the applicant has the electricity consumption data and other necessary records for that time period.
In some cases a NABERS rating may be required as part of the Commercial Building Disclosure Scheme (CBD Scheme). It requires a NABERS Energy rating to be disclosed when office space of more than 2,000sqm is offered for lease or sale.
All aspects of NABERS is managed by the NABERS National Administrator. For more information about NABERS, including how to apply, go to www.nabers.com.au.
Using the NABERS Metered Baseline Method
A specific part of the Metered Baseline Method is used to calculate the number of energy savings certificates that can be created by comparing NABERS ratings before and after energy savings activities have been conducted.
To use this method, you must first obtain a certified NABERS rating for each building. The number of energy savings certificates that may be created is determined by comparing each year's certified NABERS rating with the NABERS Baseline Rating.
For existing buildings you must first obtain an certified NABERS rating for each of the buildings that are the subject of your application.
For new buildings you will need to contact IPART if you plan to apply the NABERS baseline approach.
Nominating others to create certificates on your behalf
In the case of NABERS ratings, the ESS Rule defines the NABERS rating holder as the original energy saver, allowing the NABERS rating holder to create energy savings certificates to which they are entitled.
For example, a project management firm that implements energy efficiency projects across multiple buildings owned by different companies, could apply to be an Accredited Certificate Provider and could offer a discount to each NABERS rating holder in return for the nominating the project management firm to create energy savings certificates on their behalf.
Timing of the NABERS rating period
To maximise the number of certificates that can be created on an ongoing basis, it is recommended that applicants planning to use the NABERS Method apply as soon as possible.
The baseline period, required when using this method, must end after 1 July 2008 in order for it to be used in the Energy Savings Scheme.
Each successive certified rating obtained after applying for accreditation can then be used for the creation of energy savings certificates, however only the proportion of energy savings in a particular rating that occur after the date of application can be used for the first creation of energy savings certificates.
How to calculate energy savings
Energy savings are based on the NABERS rating before and after the energy savings project has been implemented.
Find out more about using the Metered Baseline Method to calculate energy savings.