Office energy efficiency milestone

By Greg Bell

When you're investing in commercial property in Surfers Paradise, it's worth keeping up with the latest news in sustainable office practices. After all, improving the way your property uses energy can boost profits. As well, more and more businesses are becoming aware of their environmental footprint, so it could actually attract more tenants to your property! The latest changes from the Federal Government could prove very useful for commercial property investors across the country. 

Recently, the government has decided to amend a couple of aspects of Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) Scheme. If you're thinking about purchasing Surfers Paradise property, this is certainly something to be aware of. In essence, this scheme was put in place to encourage commercial property owners to disclose information about the building's energy efficiency to future buyers and tenants. Under the legislation, owners have to secure Building Energy Efficiency Certificates (BEEC) for each of the commercial assets in their property portfolio before selling or leasing it out. 

Commercial property paperwork

Luckily the government is planning on making the process a whole lot easier, which should please commercial investors in Surfers Paradise. The Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Amendment Bill 2014 has been passed through the Senate and will introduce a number of important changes.

For one, it is working towards reducing the amount of work office building owners need to do to comply with the program. It's also offering a bit more flexibility for property owners who want to keep up their current certificates. In fact, from 1 July this year, new owners and lessors won't need to reapply for a new BEEC if there's already one in place.

Another significant change to the system is the date of issue. Under the current law, a BEEC applies right off the bat from the issue date onwards. The new bill will extend this timeline to a commencement date, which allows property owners to get the paperwork in order more efficiently and helps those who want to maintain their current certificate.

It will also introduce disclosure exemptions for building owners who receive unsolicited offers for sale or lease from prospective buyers and tenants. The Property Council of Australia said the old system created far too much red tape and many unnecessary costs – and even prevented sales or lease agreements from being completed.

Under the old rules, office building owners weren't able to sell property or negotiate a lease unless they could prove the building's energy efficiency. This included a time-consuming and costly assessment process. Removing this from the equation could ideally make sales and lease discussions much quicker, as buyers and tenants can get their hands on the required information without the whole process stalling. 

Property Council Chief Executive Ken Morrison has given the government a big tick of approval for pushing these changes through. He noted the government has taken on board its advice and made a real effort to improve how commercial property owners maintain and manage their energy usage. 

"Sustainability makes not only environmental, but economic sense," Mr Morrison said in a 23 February release.

"We all benefit from better energy efficiency in our buildings and the disclosure of energy efficiency ratings is an important mechanism for achieving this."

Australia a world leader in energy efficient offices

Mr Morrison also pointed out that Australia already has one of the world's most sustainable property markets. The Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark ranked the Australia/New Zealand as the leader in overall sustainability for 2014, posting an impressive score of 62 out of 100 possible points. With offices throughout the country showing their green prowess, it could be a great time to get on the commercial property bandwagon. 

If you'd like to be a part of the country's thriving sustainable office market, especially commercial property in Surfers Paradise, touch base with the professionals at Ray White. 

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