30 April 2013 — New Zealand is jumping on the NABERS bandwagon.

NABERSNZ, based on the National Australian Built Environment Rating System, will be introduced to the country by the government’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority BUSINESS and delivered by the New Zealand Green Building Council by the middle of this year.

NZGBC and EECA BUSINESS have worked with the Energy Management Association of New Zealand and Australian firm Exergy to adapt the Australian scheme to suit New Zealand conditions.

The scheme is now in a pilot phase with 11 NABERSNZ assessors trained and working on assessments which represent a cross-section of New Zealand office buildings.

And NZGBC chief executive Alex Cutler said assessors had been approached by tenants and building owners interested in getting a NABERSNZ rating for their buildings, once the program is launched.

EECA chief executive Mike Underhill said commercial building owners and tenants had shown a lot of interest in the scheme.

“NABERSNZ will be a game changer for the commercial office real estate market. It will help tenants and owners understand energy performance at a glance,” he said.

NABERSNZ will measure and rate energy performance on a scale of 1 to 6 stars. A 5 Star rating is considered market leading performance with a typical office building likely to rate between 2.5 and 3 stars.

To achieve a rating, qualified assessors will use 12 months of energy use data, and take into account building area, location, computer density and hours of operation to rate performance.

Ms Cutler said a tool to benchmark energy performance for office buildings was long-awaited.

“This is the most exciting development in commercial green building ratings in New Zealand since the launch of the Green Star tool in 2007,” she said.

EECA Business commercial program manager Karen Chaney said there were significant opportunities to improve the energy performance of commercial buildings in New Zealand, which used around NZ$1.7 billion in energy every year and accounted for nine per cent of national energy use.

“Increasingly tenants and building owners are seeking out premises where these systems are performing efficiently because this means lower operational costs, which is an important consideration in today’s market.

“The key to meeting these needs is through the introduction of a widely recognised energy performance rating that can be easily understood and communicated.”