The Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Amendment Act 2015 (Cth) (the Amending Act) amends the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 (Cth) (the BEED Act) and will commence on 1 July 2015. 

The Amending Act introduces new exemptions and provides for simpler certification under the Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) program. The amendments aim to: 

  • reduce the administrative burden borne by businesses to comply with the CBD program; and
  • provide greater flexibility for businesses wishing to proactively maintain current Building Energy Efficiency Certificates (BEEC) for their property portfolio. 

If you are a prospective buyer or tenant of large commercial office spaces, you will need to comply with the Commonwealth Government's building energy efficiency disclosure laws.

The CBD Program 

The purpose of the CBD program is to promote the disclosure of information about the energy efficiency of buildings to prospective buyers and tenants. Owners or landlords must obtain a BEEC prior to sale, lease or sublease or advertising a building for these purposes.

Disclosure Affected Buildings 

A building is "Disclosure Affected" if:

  • the net lettable area of the building exceeds 2,000 square metres; and
  • at least 75% of that net lettable area is used as office space.

BEECs are valid for up to 12 months and include:

  • the building's National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) Energy star rating;
  • a tenancy lighting assessment for the relevant area of the building; and
  • general energy efficiency guidance.

Key changes under the Amending Act 

  1. Inter company transfers: Transactions between wholly-owned subsidiaries are excluded from disclosure obligations. 
  2. Unsolicited offers: A BEEC is not required to be provided where an owner/landlord receives an unsolicited offer for sale, lease or sublease.
  3. Delayed start date: Allows for a new BEEC to be issued in advance of the expiry of a current BEEC and for it to commence once the current BEEC expires.
  4. BEEC format: Removal of the requirement that 6 pages of standard energy efficiency guidance text be included in the BEEC. This information will now be available online in an interactive format. 

Details in respect of unsolicited offers, and at what time a BEEC requirement may be triggered, will be included in prescribed regulations to be released in the coming months.