Building a clean energy future in commercial offices

The Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Mark Dreyfus, welcomed the full roll out of the Commercial Building Disclosure Program, which will come into effect from 1 November 2011 following a one year transition period.

THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP Cabinet Secretary

Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency

MEDIA RELEASE

31 October 2011

Building a clean energy future in commercial offices

The Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Mark Dreyfus, welcomed the full roll out of the Commercial Building Disclosure Program, which will come into effect from 1 November 2011 following a one year transition period.

The Program will ensure energy efficiency ratings for commercial office space over 2,000 square metres are disclosed to potential buyers and tenants.

There are more than 21 million square metres of commercial office space in Australia’s major urban areas spread across more than 3,900 buildings, with commercial buildings accounting for about 10 per cent of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

“The Commercial Building Disclosure Program makes available clear and credible information on the energy efficiency performance of large commercial office buildings. Energy efficiency directly impacts running costs for the occupiers of buildings. Disclosure of this information before sale or lease will greatly assist potential buyers and tenants make informed decisions,” said Mr Dreyfus.

Gavin Gilchrist, Managing Director of Big Switch Projects, welcomed the Program.

“This is all about providing credible energy performance information to the consumers of Australia’s office buildings - the businesses and government agencies, large and small, who fill the nation’s office towers,” said Mr Gilchrist.

“Just as star labels on new whitegoods, and fuel consumption stickers on new cars, help us make informed buying decisions, this scheme will promote better informed decisions about how energy efficient is that space for lease.”

“If companies want office space offering lower power bills and lower carbon emissions, this is exactly the information they need,” he said.

Rob Murray-Leach, CEO of the Energy Efficiency Council, said the introduction of the lighting assessment in particular added an extra dimension to the information that must be disclosed.

1 Two recent property industry reports show that buildings with higher energy efficiency ratings are commanding better returns in the market-place: Building Better Returns, September 2011, by the Australian Property Institute and the Property Funds Association; Australian Green Property Index, March 2011, by IPD Australia.

2  “Switching to efficient lighting can cut tenants’ lighting bills by 30 to 60 per cent. The full Commercial Building Disclosure Program will help tenants find more efficient offices and save them money,” Mr Murray-Leach said.

Joel Quintal, Director of Sustainability, Australia, for Jones Lang LaSalle, can see the benefits of the Program for his clients, who include both building owners and tenants.

“From a tenant’s perspective, what we are seeing is organisations linking their corporate social responsibility commitment with the need to occupy energy efficient buildings, Mr Quintal said

“The Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) program provides these organisations with access to information enabling them to make informed decisions on their occupancy strategies.

“From a building owner’s perspective, the CBD program has been instrumental in raising awareness of energy efficiency across the property market. CBD has heighted the importance of sustainability as a legitimate measure of property performance,” Mr Quintal said.

For more information and advice on the Commercial Building Disclosure Program visit: www.cbd.gov.au or call the CBD hotline on 1800 020 131.