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Archive for May, 2014

Measuring Your Energy Use – A Practical Guide


In order to find out where you can make energy and cost savings and to implement a plan of action to reduce your costs, you are going to have to start measuring your usage. Modern energy bills make this easy by detailing the actual amount of energy you have used – measuring it in kilowatt hours (kwh).

The first step is to keep your energy records as you implement simple cost-savings measures. This will help you keep track of your reductions and maybe even help you to identify further areas for improvement. Remember that there will be seasonal variations – the key is in identifying trends over a given year. If you have been in the property for several years, then you should be able to identify key areas straight away through existing records.

The NABERS Rating

When you’ve signed the contract to rent the property, you will have been given a Buildings Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) which will contain details of the building’s energy efficiency and that all-important NABERS rating. The NABERS score will be an overall rating for the whole building. Whether you are renting the entire property or merely one small part of it, it cannot be reiterated enough that this score will say nothing about your own energy efficiency, merely that the owner has taken all practical measures to minimise the carbon footprint (and consequently the cost to you) across the property. You can calculate a NABERS rating for your own records to give yourself and your stakeholders an overall picture of your energy efficiency relative to that of the building. Using a tried and tested method, even though it is non-binding, it will give you a solid framework on which to build an energy efficiency plan for your business.


How to Work Out Your Business’ NABERS Rating

You will need a minimum of 12 months of energy bills and a solid idea of the working hours of your office. For most this will be straight forward – 9-5, five days per week. If overtime or weekend working is a regular thing then you will need to take this into account. You should know the total area office space of the building or your part of the building and finally, the number of people and computers working in your office. Once you have all of this information, you can use the NABERS website to obtain a general score: (

A 1-2 star rating means that you are likely to be wasting energy. 3-4 is average and means you are being neither particularly efficient nor wasteful – it will be possible to make some savings. A 5-6 rating means that you are saving energy and keeping your costs as low as you possibly can.


Finally, it cannot be reiterated enough that this self-assessed NABERS rating will not be entirely accurate and cannot be used for official purposes. It will be best used as a benchmark for your office or company to give you a general idea of your energy efficiency

Ausnviro is an Accredited Assessor; we can give you an accurate NABERS rating for official purposes. Call us today on 1300 622 377