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What is a NABERS Energy Efficiency Rating?

What is a NABERS Energy Efficiency Rating and what types of buildings require one?

NABERS (the National Australian Built Environment Rating System) provides straightforward, dependable, and comparable sustainability measurements across various building sectors, including hotels, shopping centres, apartments, offices, and data centres, among others.

They have demonstrated over the past two decades that "What gets measured gets managed." Over this time customers using the NABERS system have saved an average of 30-40% on their energy costs.

The NABERS rating system has contributed to the building industry's financial growth and solid returns. It has directed corporate procurement by displaying operational performance and sustainability achievements in a transparent manner.

A NABERS rating enables the accurate measurement, understanding, and communication of a building's environmental performance while identifying areas for cost savings and future improvements.

What is NABERS?

NABERS is a simple and reliable rating system for the built environment's sustainability. Similar to the efficiency star ratings on your refrigerator or washing machine, NABERS assigns a rating of one to six stars for the following aspects of a building's performance:

  • Energy
  • Water
  • Waste
  • Indoor environment

This helps building owners understand their building's performance relative to other comparable buildings, providing a standard for comparison.

Which structures require a NABERS rating?

The Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) Program mandates that the majority of sellers and lessors of office space of 1000 square metres or more must have a valid Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC).

Each BEEC includes an Energy for Offices rating from the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS). This is a method for determining the energy efficiency of commercial buildings by comparing them to benchmarks derived from actual building performance data. The NABERS Energy rating for a BEEC includes a star rating and information regarding annual building energy consumption and glasshouse gas emissions.

What is the duration of a NABERS rating?

A NABERS rating is valid for a period of one year. This annual model ensures that your rating reflects the current operational performance of a building or workplace and must therefore be assessed annually.

What do NABERS stars indicate?

On a scale from zero to six stars, the NABERS Energy for Offices rating measures the performance of a building. A zero-star rating indicates that the building's performance is significantly below average and there is ample room for improvement. A six-star rating signifies market-leading performance, with half the glasshouse gas emissions and water consumption of a five-star building.

Your obligations

The Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act of 2010 imposes obligations on real estate agents who sell or lease office space on behalf of building owners or lessors (BEED Act).

The Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) Program, established in accordance with the BEED Act, mandates that the majority of sellers and lessors of office space of one thousand square metres or more must obtain a Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) prior to placing office space on the market for sale, lease, or sublease; and include the NABERS Energy for Offices star rating, obtained from the BEEC, in all marketing materials for the office space. 

Prior to obtaining a BEEC or being granted an exemption by the Department, real estate agents are prohibited from advertising or inviting anyone to lease or sell affected office space. BEED Act infringements include advertising or offering affected office space before this date.


Visit their website to learn more about the NABERS rating scheme.