Changes to Building Energy Efficiency Certificates

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY ALERT!

Companies that rent, purchase, lease or sublease commercial premises need to be aware of imminent changes to the Federal Government’s Commercial Building Disclosure program.

The program requires commercial premises that are used for office, administrative or clerical uses to have a Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) before the property goes on the market or is open for lease. The aim of the program is to improve the energy efficiency of office spaces in Australia.

Initially the program only applied to premises greater than 2,000 square metres in size, but from 1 July 2017 the size is being reduced to 1,000 square metres which will affect many regional buildings. This measurement includes space within a building such as a break room. If a building is mixed use, then a BEEC is required if it is more than 75% office space.

A BEEC is only valid for 12 months. You need to have an accredited assessor review the building to obtain a BEEC. The BEEC rating is displayed on a public register. There are exemptions that can be applied for in certain circumstances.

The fines for non-compliance are hefty. For instance, a company selling an affected office space without a BEEC is liable for a fine of $180,000. For each day that a breach continues it is a separate offence, and could be liable for the same penalty.

More information is available at: http://cbd.gov.au

This alert is for general information only, if you require specific advice regarding a specific building then please do not hesitate to contact our commercial property team.

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