July 2016 Newsletter

In this issue:

Welcome to the 2016 July NettZero Newsletter

Big changes within the industry as we kick-off the new financial year! The team at NettZero have been working hard to meet our growth aspirations whilst maintaining our dedication to help our clients' achieve their goals.

NettZero's Brisbane team have settled into the new office space and are more productive than ever. We wish Anil and Kevin well on their departures and welcome Ridho and Nikhil to our team. Over the past few months we have been developing a graduate program, which Nikihl is the first to take part in, (more detail below).

In this newsletter we've summarised some recent changes and discussions within the industry that are relevant to our readers. This includes the adjustments to the CBD Program, new NABERS draft ruling, collaboration on well-being and sustainability in building practices and finally, an analysis of NettZero's CBD Program involvement within the past 12 months. 

Did you know?

Best wishes,


CBD - It's Official!

After receiving overwhelming support from industry the Government has committed to lower the threshold of the Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) Program from 2,000 to 1,000 square metres, commencing on 1 July 2017.

Commercial buildings that fit this criterion will be required to disclose their energy efficiency when they sell or lease their property. This will help inform purchasers and tenants of a buildings energy costs. This initiative is expected to deliver more than $50 million in energy savings, and around 3.5 million tonnes of emission reductions over the next five years.

The changes also mean that prospective buyers and tenants of smaller commercial buildings will be able to make more informed choices about energy efficiency when purchasing or leasing a property. 

As well as lowering the threshold, they have amended the Tenancy Lighting Assessment (TLA) requirements so that the new CBD TLAs submitted after 1 September 2016, will be valid for five years instead of one year. 

NettZero supports the changes and look forward to assisting more organisations in meeting their building energy efficiency targets and disclosure obligations. 

NABERS - Price Change & New Draft Ruling

On July 1 2016, the NABERS National Administrator increased rating lodgement fees by 2.5%. As the NABERS Certification Fee is a straight 'pass through cost' for us, the changes will automatically pass through to our clients. The NABERS Certification fee for an Energy and Water Base Building Rating is now $1,455 excl. GST. 

The NABERS team is also seeking feedback on a new Draft Supplementary Air Conditioning Ruling.

Overall, our view is that the changes are a good step forward for the NABERS Program and will help improve the accuracy, fairness and consistency of ratings. This being said, we acknowledge the complexities of the new requirements and the costs involved for building owners in the necessary sub-metering systems. Our summary of the main points are below:

  1. The Draft Ruling will clear up a number of issues around the supply of Air Conditioning (AC) to Tenant Server Rooms and Meeting Rooms. We think this is a good change as the current rules are difficult to implement and are often implemented inconsistently by various assessors. It also removes the need for assessors to inspect/measure Tenant Server Rooms, which imposes on Tenants to provide the necessary access. 
  2. Under the Draft Ruling the focus is placed on the General Office Area's within a tenancy, which is defined as "open plan areas and cell offices", (or any space where people undertake office work on desks or workstations). If there are supplementary AC units, servicing these areas in conjunction with the Base Building HVAC system then the electricity use of the units must be included in the Base Building Rating. If the units are connected to tenants electrical switchboards then sub-metering will be required.

Under the current rules if the Supplementary AC Units are needed to service a "Special Tenant Requirement", which could be an area with a staff or equipment density (trading floor, call centre, IT area) higher than the specifications of the Base Building HVAC system, then the electricity used by the Supplementary Units could be excluded from the Base Building Energy Rating. The current rules in this area can again be difficult to implement and therefore may not be applied consistently by all assessors. 

Under the Draft Ruling the "Special Tenant Requirement" facility is removed and no matter what the reason, if supplementary AC units are servicing the General Office Area's then the energy for these units must be included in the Base Building Rating or the whole area can be excluded. The vast majority of supplementary AC Units will be connected to the tenants electricity board and will either need to be sub-metered or the load of the supplementary units re-wired onto the House Electricity Board. 

We agree with NABERS that the Draft Ruling will have a minimal impact on the Base Building Rating Results for the vast majority of buildings. The extent of the impact of the ruling will depend on the tenant mix of a building and the number of supplementary air conditioning units supplying General Office Area's. However, we see the main impact will be the costs required to put in place the necessary sub-metering systems and documentation to comply with the rules.

The Draft Ruling may also cause some additional friction between building owner and tenants where the tenant has a staff or euipment density above the design intent of the buildings HVAC. Hopefully, it will drive industry and building owners (and tenants) to find more efficient solutions to provide comfort conditions to specific tenant areas that have a higher heat load. The general default position at the moment is for tenants to install their supplementary AC Units, which will generally be an energy inefficient solution

As always, feel free to Contact Us if you have any questions or want to discuss these changes further. 

New Opportunities to Join a Growing NettZero Team!

The NettZero Graduate Program

NettZero have recently developed a Graduate Program that provides an 18 to 24 month entry level position for recent University Graduates to commence their career in the sustainability sector. 

During the program the Graduate will receive hands on real work experience supporting our NABERS, CBD & Green Star Performance Assessors with their day to day activities. NettZero will support the Graduate through various external training programs and ensure they develop a deep understanding of the various assessments methodologies.

The program is designed to build the Graduates skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications, which will provide them with valuable experience to pursue their sustainability careers.

Assessor Opportunity to Join Our Sydney Team

With NettZero's expansion of sustainability services and growing client base, we now have an opportunity for an experienced NABERS Sustainability Consultant to join our busy team in Sydney on a full-time basis. 

The role will be primarily responsible for providing a range of sustainability servies including Energy Auditing, NABERS Improvement Plans and Energy Modelling, as well as NABERS and BEEC Accredited Assessments. 

The applicant is required to be NABERS Accredited, with previous experience delivering the above services in a commercial or retail environment. Tertiary qualifications in Engineering, Property and/or Sustainability, as well as Green Star experience is also highly desired.

If this opportunity is of interest to you Contact Us.

Health and Sustainability Collaboration

There has been growing discussion on the focus of health and well-being within Australia's commercial office sector. The basis is that sustainable buildings not only need to address an environment impact, but a social and economic impact too. 

The movement is being driven by the recent partnership between Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) and the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). Their focus is to work collaboratively to "Promote health and well-being in the design, construction and operations of buildings, equipment and communities in Australia," (GBCA).

The initiative aims to align the two rating systems, create more event and education offerings, but most importantly, promote the improvement of health and well-being through building practices. 

Throughout this development we can expect to see more intensive air filtration systems and other technology that will enhance worker well-being and comfort; however, it's believed a data-driven approach could deliver both human wellness and energy performance to the building industry. The principle issue that needs to be addressed is how to effectively manage both interests and whether it is possible to. 

This is a great opportunity for the sector and we look forward to participating in this area. 

NettZero's CBD Program Analysis

NettZero is recognised as the NABERS & BEEC Specialists. This recognition is due to our highly experienced staff, the quality of our ratings, our systems and procedures and the sheer number of NABERS Ratings we have completed. Quality practice makes perfect. 

From 1/4/15-31/3/16, NettZero submitted more BEEC Applications than any other organisation in Australia. Throughout this period we submitted over 10% of all BEEC applications certified. This is 1/3 more than the next highest BEEC service provider.

Almost 80% of the NABERS Assessments completed by NettZero during this period received a 4-5.5 Star Energy Rating. On average, the buildings we certify receive an above industry Star Rating of 4.31, (4.21 is the Average Star Rating 2014-15).

We believe part of these results can be attributed to our Portfolio Management Program, where we monitor the NABERS performance of the property on a regular basis throughout the year leading up to the accredited rating.

Better measurement leads to better management. 

For more information on our Portfolio Management Program or our statistics, Contact Us. All statistics were analysed from: http://cbd.gov.au/overview-of-the-program/stastics.