Changes to the Commercial Building Disclosure Program

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

On 21 June 2016, The Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia, the Hon. Josh Frydenberg, announced the move to lower the mandatory disclosure threshold on commercial office buildings from 2000 square metres to 1000 square metres. View the media release for more information.

This expands the scope of the program to cover smaller office buildings and spaces and will come into effect from 1 July 2017, after a one year transition period. Under the changes a Building Energy Efficiency Certificate will be required whenever an office space of 1000 square metres or more is offered for sale or lease and a current NABERS Office Energy rating will need to be included in advertising.

By continuing the Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) Program and reducing the mandatory disclosure threshold to 1000 square metres, the program is projected to provide a reduction in end use energy consumption of 17,395 TJ, abatement of over 3.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gases and deliver around $60 million in benefits over the period from 2015 to 2019.

The changes also mean that prospective buyers and tenants of smaller commercial buildings will be able to make more informed choices about energy efficiency when purchasing or leasing a property.

Lowering of the disclosure threshold is complemented by a decision to increase the Tenancy Lighting Assessment validity period, also known as a TLA, from one to five years. Changes to the TLA validity period requirements are proposed to take effect for all new TLAs submitted from 1 September 2016. This means that building owners already covered by the program will now enjoy extended validity for their TLAs, which reduces their regulatory burden.

These changes follow a comprehensive review of the CBD Program earlier this year and public consultation on the proposed changes to the program.

The CBD review found the program had delivered a reduction in end-use energy consumption of 10,020 TJ, abatement of 2 million tonnes of greenhouse gases and has delivered $15 million in benefits ($44 million if you include GHG reductions) between 2010 and 2014, by improving the energy efficiency of Australia’s large office buildings.

The Department of the Environment and Energy are now working to develop reference materials to provide building owners with information on how to increase their NABERS Office Energy rating. If you would like to keep informed of these developments, please subscribe here. Additional information about the CBD Program can be found on the Overview page.