Winter 2017, is this the perfect time for energy upgrades for commercial buildings in Victoria?
The Federal Government is requiring more office buildings to advertise their NABERS energy rating, energy security has become a mainstream conversation topic, and the Victorian Government are offering finance and financing assistance to building owners.
Commercial Building Disclosure Program
The Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) program is reducing its minimum threshold to 1,000 sqm as of July 1st. All building owners in Australia will have received a letter from the Federal Government detailing their responsibility to advertise a current NABERS energy rating when selling, leasing or sub-leasing commercial office space. The NABERS rating forms one part of the mandatory Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) a long with a valid Tenancy Lighting Assessment (TLA).
The objective of this program is to make prospective tenants aware of the relative energy efficiency of the properties they are considering. With energy affordability and security featuring prominently in the news, energy has become a mainstream topic of conversation, and thus a greater consideration for tenants.
Better Commercial Buildings Program
Sustainability Victoria recently announced $1.8M in grant funding to assist mid-tier commercial building owners to upgrade their assets. The grant funding will be available for energy audits, implementation of energy upgrades, and verification of building efficiency improvement. The aim of the program is to help owners improve their NABERS energy rating by at least 1 star.
Further to the grant funding, Sustainability Victoria have also announced a free finance facilitation service for energy efficiency upgrades. For owners who are capital constrained, or are just interested in assessing other financing solutions, this free service will help develop the financial business case for their project.
What does all this mean?
Owners who upgrade their building efficiency will be well positioned when advertising their NABERS rating is mandated by the CBD program. Further, leveraging the Victorian Government incentives can lower the cost of implementing upgrades. Acting now will maximise access to Government funding and positive exposure of building performance.