The NSW government has started a campaign to tackle the energy efficiency of what it calls “average-performing” commercial office buildings.

The “No More Average Buildings” campaign, a partnership between NABERS and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, will involve financial assistance to office buildings with NABERS ratings of three or fewer stars.

According to OEH metropolitan branch director Tom Grosskopf, the performance of offices in NSW is already increasing, with just 102 of the state’s 486 NABERS-rated at or below the three-star threshold.

“That’s nearly a 40 per cent drop in the number of buildings rated three stars or less than in the 2012/13 financial year,” Mr Grosskopf said.

The target now is to make these buildings a thing of the past.

“Our aim is to have NSW be the first state to have no more average energy-performing buildings by the end of the 2018/19 financial year.”

To get there, the government is targeting owners and managers of poor-performing buildings with its Energy Saver program, which includes:

  • 50 per cent off the cost of an energy audit to identify energy saving opportunities
  • Up to $10,000 for technical expertise to support implementation of identified energy saving opportunities
  • Funding assistance of up to $15,000 for measurement and verification services to ensure that the upgrades are delivering the expected savings
  • Help to access public and private finance options for projects
  • Subsidised energy efficiency training in key technologies such as lighting and HVAC, as well as assistance to develop business cases for energy upgrade projects

“It’s a great opportunity for building owners and managers to save on their energy costs and increase the value of their assets – while also doing something good for the environment,” Mr Grosskopf said.

“Higher NABERS energy-rated buildings have been shown to receive higher rent, as well as enjoy lower vacancy rates and longer leases.

“Tenants benefit too, with lower energy bills and improved comfort levels, as energy efficient spaces typically have better climate control.”

See the Energy Saver program website for further details.

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  1. This is great idea to reduce energy and corresponding GHG emissions from office building. But to make more realistic, it is more important how to connect this merit to real building owners and tenants.
    Currently, energy bills or NABERS star rating is minor consideration for building owners or tenants. How to link or connect the program with them?

  2. This is a new campaign and it comes with a target – to have no more average buildings (defined as a NABERS Energy star rating of 3 or less) in NSW by the 2018/19 NABERS Annual Report. It integrates a number of funding sources to offer a complete package to improve building performance.

    In the campaign, each building will have their project scoped, and technical support and assistance with financing will be central components of the campaign. We expect the program to continue to grow over time, with other jurisdictions hopefully following suit!

    Isn’t it incredible to see how close we are to a goal that would have been completely unthinkable only a decade ago?