November 2015 Newsletter

In this issue:

Welcome to the 2015 November NettZero Newsletter

This time of year is as busy as ever for everyone and we are no different. The addition of several new team members during 2015 has enabled us to improve our service delivery, our reliability and the quality of outputs. 

During 2015 we also up-skilled our team, this enables us to improve offer an expanded service offering to our clients. These new services introduced in 2015 include Green Star Performance assessments and NABERS Indoor Environment Ratings. 

We continue to explore potential new services that are relevant and beneficial to our clients'. In 2016, we hope to expand our service offering a little further, however we are very conscious that it is critical for us to maintain our reliability and quality of our existing services. 

In this newsletter we've summarised what we believe is the most important and applicable information from the NABERS 2014/15 Financial Report. There's also information on what the NSW Energy Saving Scheme is doing to keep up with the rapidly growing sustainable trend and lastly, further evidence that Australia and New Zealand are leading the industry of sustainable real estate practices. 

Sustainability Facts:

Best wishes for the New Year,

Matt.

NABERS Financial Report - What you need to know

The NABERS Financial Report for 2014/15 was recently released, which displayed a positive indication of its growing success. Firstly, the adoption of NABERS for the Emissions Reduction Fund for Commercial Building has been a significant growth opportunity. Secondly, they outline the figures associated with the benefits from receiving a high star rating. Thirdly, there has been a rapid increase in shopping centre's adoption of the NABERS Energy and Water Ratings. Finally, we have provided the most current rulings and requests by NABERS.

Alliance with Emissions Reduction Fund

Earlier this year it was announced by the Australian Government that their Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) method for Commercial Buildings would be solely based on NABERS. The ERF provides incentive to cut the amount of greenhouse gases that Australian businesses create by adopting smarter practices. 

NABERS Ratings are used to establish the benchmark emissions for a property and also to validate the emissions reduction post the project. This method can be applied to commercial offices, shopping centres, hotels and data centres. 

The emission reduction initiatives include key activities, such as lighting upgrades, plant and controls upgrades and replacement.

If you need some assistance or advice on putting together your Project or submission or simply need an independent NABERS Assessor, then NettZero can be of assistance. Contact Us.

NABERS more valuable than ever

The investment performance of commercial office buildings that have been awarded a NABERS Energy or Water Rating can be tracked by the quarterly IPD Australian Green Property Index. Within the last financial year, the Index reported that investments returns for offices with high NABERS Ratings (4-6 stars) consistently outperformed those with lower ratings (0-3.5 stars), and additionally showed stronger capital growth. 

The report calculated the following improvements when comparing highers NABERS Energy Rated offices to lower NABERS Energy Rated offices:

A Green Retail Boost

A major trend in the NABERS Annual Report is the rapid increase of shopping centres that undertook NABERS Energy and Water ratings. 

Within the last financial year the number of ratings has almost doubled from 59 to 109 assessments. The growth is believed to be fueled by first first time portfolio ratings, however, more significantly through the involvement and support from major players. 

There is a huge increase in investors demanding more information about the sustainability performance of their assets. This movement is important for property owners, as now more than ever, sustainability credentials mean a competitive advantage for attracting investment. 

At NettZero we have certainly experienced this growth as we completed over 40 NABERS Shopping Centre Ratings in 2015. 

NABERS Rulings & Ruling Requests

Rulings:

  1. Shopping centres with a particular configuration can now receive credit for providing partial central services. this ruling has assisted several shopping centres to significantly improve their NABERS Energy rating.
  2. Office buildings will soon be able to exclude the energy and water of large data centres from their base building office energy and water ratings. This brings equity to buildings with differing service arrangements for data centres.
  3. The criteria for acceptable lease wording for base building office energy ratings has been amended to make it clearer for Assessors to determine core hours. 

The second and third Rulings listed above have been approved but not released. They will be released in v.3.1 of office Rules. 

Ruling Requests:

  1. Agile Working or Activity Based Working is perceived as having an impact on office water ratings and office energy base building and tenancy ratings. An independent study has been commissioned to determine the validity of this concern. As part of the study, the computer count is being evaluated for suitability to an agile workplace.
  2. There are a number of large buildings that contain a mix of office, hotel, retail, residential and other spaces. These spaces will share a number of common spaces and services, such as foyers, back of house areas, external lighting and vertical transport. NABERS are working on a shared services ruling for mixed use development to better account for these kinds of building under their Rules.
  3. NABERS reviewed the difference in water ratings for using the different hours of occupancy for the whole building against the base building methodology. The study determined that there was a very small impact on the final star rating and no change to the Rules was recommended.
  4. NABERS reviewed the impact of educational and medical spaces on base building ratings. The study determined that the 25% area inclusion cap was appropriate and recommended no change to the Rules. 

For more information, view NABERS Financial Report

NSW Energy Savings Scheme - Enhancements

The NSW Energy Saving Scheme (ESS) is aimed at reducing electricity consumption in NSW by creating financial incentives for organisations to invest in energy saving projects. The NSW Government has agreed on a number of important enhancements to the ESS following a review of the ESS conducted over the past 12 months. This will be done by:

To support its improvements of administration and effectiveness, the NSW Government is developing a comprehensive evaluation, measurement and verification framework for the ESS. This includes:

The NSW Government say they are going to introduce a regular process to update the ESS Rule. This regular process will:

From these improvements we can expect that the ESS will continue to create new opportunities for businesses to save on their energy bills, provide businesses with better information to drive investment in energy efficiency, and remove unnecessary red-tape.

For more information on NSW ESS and how you can benefit, Contact Us

Australia & New Zealand Property - Portfolios lead the world

According to the latest GRESB Report, Australia and New Zealand continue to lead the world in sustainable real estate practices. 

In the past year, GRESB assessed 707 property companies and private equity real estate funds globally, representing 61,000 assets and AUD $3.2 trillion in asset value. Australia and New Zealand received a GRESB score of 69, which is significantly higher than the global average of 56. 

Three Australian companies were identified as regional sector leaders; Stockland for diversified property, Lend Lease for retail and office developments, and The GPT Group for diversified-retail/office. Lend Lease was also named the 'global sector leader', placed at the top of the table for the 707 property companies surveyed. 

We would like to congratulate Stockland, Lend Lease and The GPT Group for their achievements. We are also proud to acknowledge that all three of these organisations are major clients of NettZero. NettZero are focused on continuing to service and improve property rankings, value and sustainable within Australia.