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How will changes to the CBD Program affect you?

By Greg Bell

As of July 1 2017, updates to the Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) Program mean that owners and lessors of smaller office buildings may need to disclose their energy efficiency. This is a change the government predicts will save more than $50 million and result in emission reductions of 3.5 million tonnes over five years.

What does it mean for you as an owner or lessor of commercial property?

What is the CBD Program and how is it changing?

Introduced in 2010 by the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act, the CBD Program is a way of ensuring that potential buyers and tenants of commercial property are adequately informed about the energy efficiency of a building.

Until July 1 this year, it required that all commercial office spaces of 2,000 square metres or more, up for sale or lease, disclose their energy efficiency. The threshold has now been lowered so that office spaces as small as 1,000 square metres are now also required to disclose their energy efficiency.

What will owners and lessors of commercial property need to do?

If you're selling or leasing an office space that has a net lettable area of 1,000 square metres or more, you'll need to obtain a Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) from the Department of the Environment and Energy before selling or leasing the space. 

Obtaining a BEEC is done by getting an accredited assessor to evaluate the space's energy efficiency. You'll need to provide the assessor with your electricity and gas bills from the last 12 months to assist with their evaluation. They'll then lodge the application for a BEEC on your behalf.

Once you're issued with a BEEC, you'll have a NABERS Energy star rating for your building that you can provide to potential tenants. You'll be required to display this rating on all advertising collateral.

What are the benefits of complying with the changes to the CBD Program?

The CBD Program is designed to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions of Australian office spaces, so compliance with the changes means you'll be helping to mitigate the effects of climate change. The financial benefits are also significant; the study Building Better Return by researchers at the University of Western Sydney found that higher NABERS ratings delivered increases in value when compared to buildings without a NABERS rating.

In addition, the Department of the Environment and Energy monitors compliance with the CBD Program and investigates buildings without a current BEEC, enforcing penalties for non-compliance. So complying with the changes will ensure that you're doing everything by the book. 

Make sure you aren't penalised, increase the value of your commercial property and do your bit to help out the future of the planet by staying on top of the changes to the CBD Program before selling or leasing your office space. And to find the very best commercial property, talk to the team at Ray White Surfers Paradise.

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