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Commercial Building Disclosure. A national energy efficiency program

 

 

What is CBD?

Note: Changes to the CBD Program were announced on 21 June 2016. Read more here.

The Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) Program requires energy efficiency information to be provided in most cases when commercial office space of 2000 square metres or more is offered for sale or lease. The aim is to improve the energy efficiency of Australia's large office buildings and to ensure prospective buyers and tenants are informed. The CBD Program is an initiative of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). It was established by the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 and is managed by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

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What is involved?

The CBD Program requires most sellers and lessors of office space of 2000 square metres to obtain a Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) before the building goes on the market for sale, lease or sublease.

BEECs are valid for up to 12 months and include:

  • the building's National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) Energy star rating
  • a tenancy lighting assessment of the relevant area of the building

Standard energy efficiency guidance information previously included on the last 6 pages of the BEEC is now provided online. This includes information on how building owners and tenants might improve a building's energy efficiency and allow the CBD team to provide relevant and targeted energy efficiency information to building owners.

Only CBD accredited assessors can apply for BEECs on behalf of building owners or lessors. See Find an accredited assessor. For more details about BEECs, see Get and use a rating.

What must be disclosed?

The Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 requires that:

  • BEECs must be provided to potential buyers or lessors when requested at the time of sale, lease or sublease
  • BEECs must also be publicly accessible on the Building Energy Efficiency Register
  • the building's NABERS Energy star rating must also be included in any advertising material for the sale, lease or sublease.

Why does energy efficiency information have to be disclosed?

The Australian, state and territory governments developed the CBD Program as part of the broader National Strategy on Energy Efficiency.

The commercial building sector is responsible for around 10 per cent of Australia's total greenhouse gas emissions and this figure is rising. Improving building energy efficiency is one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help mitigate climate change.

Disclosing energy efficiency provides everyone with access to consistent and meaningful information about the building's performance. This makes it easier for companies to buy or rent more energy efficient office space.

An informed market rewards better performing buildings. It creates a strong market-based incentive for owners to improve their properties with cost-effective energy efficient upgrades that are attractive to buyers and tenants and increase return on investment.

The CBD Program is helping to improve Australia's building stock by encouraging all parties in a purchase or lease transaction to consider energy efficiency.

Find out more about the benefits for building owners and lessors as well as for buyers and tenants.

Who has to comply?

  • Most building owners who are selling or leasing office space with a net lettable area of 2000 square metres or more.
  • Most tenants who are subleasing part of their tenancy with a net lettable area of 2000 square metres or more.

Not all buildings are required to have a BEEC when they are sold or leased. For example, new buildings where there is a certificate of occupancy less than two years old, strata-titled buildings or buildings where ownership is transferred through the sale of shares do not require a BEEC. For more details, see Exemptions.

The Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science manages and monitors the CBD Program. See How do I comply? for more information about your obligations, our compliance policy, and penalties for non-compliance.

Is disclosure always required?

The CBD Program requires most sellers and lessors of commercial office space of 2000 square metres or more to disclose the building's energy efficiency. This is required by the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 (BEED Act).

However, there are exceptions to the legislation. In addition, in certain circumstances, a building may be granted an exemption. If your building fits into either of these categories, you are not required to disclose its energy efficiency information when selling or leasing. The table below outlines the difference between Exceptions and Exemptions at a glance.

What is a NABERS rating?

The CBD Program requires a NABERS Energy rating for affected buildings. NABERS is a national rating system that measures the environmental performance of Australian buildings, tenancies and homes. The CBD Program integrates the NABERS Energy for Offices Rating into the information disclosed to prospective buyers and tenants of large commercial office spaces.

NABERS is managed by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage on behalf of the Australian, state and territory governments.

See www.nabers.gov.au for more information.

What is a tenancy lighting assessment?

A tenancy lighting assessment is an important component of a BEEC. It is based on a methodical survey of the general lighting system reasonably expected to be left in place after the tenant leaves and the tenancy fit out is removed. Where appropriate, a tenancy lighting assessment may also cover proposed lighting systems.

It measures the power density of the installed general lighting system of affected buildings by working out the:

  • nominal Lighting Power Density of the relevant functional space in the building
  • capacity of installed lighting control systems.

It may also include a performance comment if appropriate.

Lighting assessments are done by CBD accredited assessors. For more details, see Tenancy lighting assessments.

Future developments

Possible changes to coverage of buildings with mixed uses.

The Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 (BEED Act) applies to buildings with more than 75 per cent office space, with the intention of covering more buildings over time.

Currently, buildings with less than 75 per cent office space are currently not subject to mandatory disclosure as set out in Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure (Disclosure Affected Buildings) Determination 2016 (Minister's Determination).

The intention is to review this interim measure.


Where to from here?

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