This act was introduced in June 2010 to reduce carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency in commercial buildings by promoting the disclosure of information about their energy efficiency.
It has implications for owners and tenants of commercial office buildings who offer to sell or lease, and invite for offers to purchase or lease, commercial office spaces that have a net lettable area of at least 2,000 metres squared. When the owners and tenants offer to sell or lease and invite offers to purchase or lease, the area must have a current Building Energy Efficiency Certificate and this must be included in the advertisement. The penalty for not complying with these obligations is 1000 penalty units ($110,000).
The Building Energy Efficiency Certificate will need to disclose the energy efficiency star rating of the building, an assessment of the energy efficiency of the building lighting; and an energy efficiency report outlining possible improvements.
To comply, the seller or lessor must register this certificate before it sells or leases the building and include it’s details in any advertisements. The tenant or purchaser has the authority to compel the seller or lessor to supply them with a copy of the energy efficiency certificate.
Lessors of leases under 12 months will be exempt from these requirements. Other exemptions include such things as the space is used for police or security operations, or if because of the characteristics of the building or the area of the building in relation to which the obligation would otherwise apply, it is not possible to assign an energy efficiency rating to the building, or assess the energy efficiency of lighting of the building or the area of the building in accordance with assessment methods and standards determined.
The disclosure obligations of this act will commence on a date that is still yet to be determined, however they will commence before 31 December 2010. There is a transitional period for one year after the disclosure obligations commence. During this transitional period, a valid National Australian Built Environment Rating System can be disclosed instead of the Building Energy Efficiency Certificate.