The Federal Government has announced that the Commercial Buildings Disclosure program
will be extended to smaller offices from July 2017, meaning that office buildings over 1000 square metres will be required to disclose their energy efficiency at the point of sale or lease.
Currently, only offices over 2000 square metres are required to disclose this information, however the government believes that lowering the threshold will deliver more than $50 million in energy savings and around 3.5 million tonnes of emission reductions over five years.
Other changes included tenancy lighting assessments only being requires every five years, instead of annually, which is sure to be a relief for many small business owners, as well as the government, as it will result in savings on red tape for building owners.
The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage said that they’ve been thrilled with the increase in energy efficiency by mid-tier buildings over 2000 square feet and are keen to see the “unprecedented transformation” continue into smaller office spaces.
Ultimately, the Commercial Buildings Disclosure program is designed to position Australia has a global leader in commercial building energy efficiency, but it’s also created several other benefits in its short life. Early reporting shows that buildings with improved energy efficiency ratings attract higher rent, have lower vacancy rates and better capital growth, making the investment worthwhile for commercial property owners.
It’s also raised awareness of building energy performance by tenants, who are seek their own ways to find more energy savings within their workplace, and created hundreds of jobs in the process. The lowering of the threshold will continue to create these benefits and more.