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Archive for April, 2014

Why Energy Efficiency Should be Your Priority


As a potential new or existing tenant of office buildings, you are going to be looking at a variety of costs – ideally you will be looking at cutting them and utilities such as water and electricity will be one of those costs under constant review. For larger office buildings (anything over 2000sqm) a NABERS assessment is mandatory ahead of any new sale or tenancy. For smaller premises, you might find voluntary uptake – doing so helps businesses to stay competitive, especially when potential clients such as yourself will be looking at cost savings measures.

The NABERS rating is a 1-6 star system that rates greenhouse gas emissions, a building’s energy and water efficiency, waste efficiency and the quality of the indoor environment. A 1-star rating is the lowest possible score – this means that there is considerable room for improvement; a 6-star rating is the highest, meaning that the owner has done everything they possibly can to maximise energy, water and lighting efficiency.


Can I Improve My Energy Efficiency?

As a tenant, you are probably fairly limited in what you can do –most of the responsibilities of upkeep for the building will be the owner. If the building you are leasing does not have a 6 star rating, or even if it does, there are steps that you can take to keep your costs down.

Behavioural modification: Making simple changes to your daily working pattern is the easiest way to cut your energy costs. Switch off:

  • Lights when leaving an office – lighting accounts for anything between one and two thirds of all energy costs
  • Computers at the end of the day and monitors when out for lunch – IT equipment accounts for anything between one fifth and one half of energy costs
  • Printers and other peripherals – even in sleep mode they consume energy. If they don’t need to stay on overnight, consider switching them off; they account for up to 20% of energy costs
  • Kitchen equipment – kettles, microwaves, boilers and coolers do not need to stay on all of the time and account for up to 10% of energy costs

It is possible to install timers to some of the above to make sure they consume no energy when not in use for extended periods of time.

Analyse your bills: Look for patterns in your energy – are there energy spikes on certain days or in certain months? Think about what may have caused these and see if there is anything that you might be able to do about them. Take a close look at your tariff and see how you could negotiate a better deal based on your requirements

Analyse your consumption: As a tenant you should have full access to the meter; if you don’t know how to read it, then the owners or one of their representatives should know and be able to show you. If your building does not have a NABERS rating, you should be able to calculate it based on the readings and a simple formula – this will not be binding, the building will need an official assessment by an accredited assessor

Ausnviro is an Accredited Assessor. Call us today on 1300 622 377