Building energy efficiency proposals

06 April 2010

Bill in Parliament

The Federal Government has introduced the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Bill 2010 into Parliament.

If this Bill becomes law, the owners of large commercial office buildings will need to obtain energy efficiency information for their building and then disclose it to prospective purchasers and lessees. This requirement will apply when office space of 2,000 square metres or more is offered for sale, lease or sublease.

Those affected by these new requirements will need to obtain a building energy efficiency certificate. The information in the certificate must include:

  • a star rating of the building’s energy efficiency;
  • an assessment of the efficiency of lighting; and
  • additional guidance on improving the building.

The star rating for the building will need to be included in any advertisement. Failure to comply with the proposed disclosure requirements would carry a maximum penalty of $100,000 and misuse of energy information could lead to a maximum two year jail term.

More information on this matter may be obtained from here.

National Building Energy Standard

The Federal Government’s Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency has released a discussion paper focusing on a framework that is designed to deliver consistency in the way that standards for building energy efficiency are set and how the environmental performance of buildings is assessed and rated. Submissions on the discussion paper will be accepted until 7 May 2010.

The Government says that the “framework” is designed to achieve a number of things, including the:

  • setting of increasingly strong minimum performance standards for all classes of new residential and commercial buildings and major renovations;
  • coverage of the building envelope including roof, walls, doors and windows as well as the energy efficiency of key building services;
  • bring together assessment and rating tools for existing and new buildings; and
  • development of a common measurement and reporting tool to help in setting building standards and assessing building performance.

Measures under the Framework will be implemented through the Building Code of Australia and it is expected that state and territory governments will confirm agreement with the framework by the end of 2010.

We have previously expressed our concerns with the Government’s desire to hastily introduce energy efficiency measures without proper consideration of their impact on supply of development properties.

We would welcome the views of members on this issue, particularly those who have experienced inconsistency and/or difficulty meeting energy efficiency or reporting requirements covered by national, state or local regulation.

Further information on this matter can be accessed from here.