Incorporate energy efficiency considerations into long-term property management strategies
The last decade has seen a rapid uptake of environmental sustainability considerations in new and existing buildings.
As discussed in Chapter 1, the NABERS Energy rating system has been adopted in Australian Government legislation and policy requirements for energy efficiency in commercial and government buildings. The rating system has also been widely adopted in the policies of other government jurisdictions. The Australian Government's EEGO policy requires that office buildings and tenancies over 2000mē and more than two years duration are to meet a NABERS Energy rating of 4.5 stars. For smaller tenancies under 2000mē, the NABERS rating is not required, but the power consumption of the office lighting must be less than 10 watts per mē-noting that best practice is less than 7 watts per mē. Separate digital revenue metering of all tenancies is strongly recommended under the policy . These requirements should be incorporated into PMPs, including strategies to meet EEGO policy energy intensity targets for tenant light and power and central services. As discussed in Chapter 1 and Chapter 2, there are many options available to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings and tenancies.
|CHECK: Does your organisation regularly monitor and report property management performance towards NABERS Energy ratings and other sustainability indicators?|
Commercial Building Disclosure
The Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 introduces a national requirement for sellers and lessors of buildings and office tenancies over 2000mē to register a Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) at point of sale or lease . The BEEC is comprised of a NABERS Energy rating for the building (generally base building); a tenancy lighting energy efficiency assessment; and energy efficiency guidance for building owners and tenants. BEECs are valid for 12 months and are publicly accessible through the online Building Energy Efficiency Register. DCCEE administers the Act through the Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) program .
The CBD program places an obligation on building owners to register a BEEC at point of sale or lease. As most public sector entities are tenants in office buildings, they are not required to register a BEEC. However, when seeking to lease office space or a new building, Australian Government tenants will be able to access information about the energy performance of a site, which is provided in the relevant BEEC. This information will inform property management decisions, including compliance with mandated energy use targets. Public sector entities that sell or sub-lease buildings may be required to register a BEEC and should seek advice from DCCEE.
Public sector leasing arrangements
The leasing cycle for public sector entities generally ranges from three to 15 years. Consequently, entering or re-negotiating a lease is an infrequent exercise for many entities. Given the wide-ranging impacts of property management decisions and the accumulated cost of leasing over the long term, risks need to be effectively managed. It is, therefore, important to seek timely advice when establishing new leasing arrangements from relevant agencies, including Finance and DCCEE, and seek appropriate legal advice, where necessary.
To assist agencies entering into a lease as a tenant, Finance has prepared a Commonwealth National Lease for use by agencies subject to the FMA Act. The use of the Lease is discretionary and FMA Act agencies may use the document as a starting point in tenancy negotiations. It is not designed to address the unique property requirements of all FMA Act agencies and will need to be tailored to suit specific property requirements .
Finance also manages the Commonwealth Property Management (CPM) online community, hosted on GOVDEX , to assist agencies to better manage surplus office space. The online community provides FMA Act agencies with access to an accommodation register, which collects and displays information on unused office space, such as the location, the space available and the details of the property. The CPM online community also provides a forum for agencies to share information regarding property management practices, PRODAC reporting requirements and information that is made available from the Senior Property Officers' Forum .
Many public sector entities have achieved improved results from the implementation of relatively simple lighting upgrades and operational improvements to buildings. Centrelink has improved the average NABERS Energy rating for its property portfolio through simple and targeted actions (see the case study below).
 Revenue metering refers to meters that retailers or suppliers use to monitor and measure the usage of a particular energy resource such as electricity, gas or other fuel. The revenue owed to the retailer or supplier is calculated from these meters
 FMA Act agencies entering into leasing transactions as tenants are able to request a copy of the lease from the Department of Finance and Deregulation by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
 The GOVDEX site is a secure, private, web-based space that helps government agencies to manage projects, and share documents and information. Although any stakeholder can participate in a GOVDEX community, the Community Owner must be an Australian Government agency. The Community Owner can then invite other people and organisations to participate. GOVDEX is administrated by Finance and available from: www.govdex.gov.au.
 This forum is hosted by Finance and meets regularly to facilitate interagency communication and advice regarding property management.
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