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NABERS – What Will it Cost?



Jobs vs The Planet

It’s something that sceptics point to the most in the climate change debate – the financial cost to businesses and consequently to jobs and job opportunities. It is a political hot debate, especially when we consider the economic problems of the last 5+ years. Certainly the cost of various international, national and local measures to tackle the carbon footprint is going to cost in financial terms, just like any new legislation that is brought in to tackle a real problem. But businesses can and will survive just as they always have done – by adapting to and embracing new shifts in technology.

It needn’t be a choice of saving the economy or the planet, as new technologies make their way onto the market, the research and development associated with any growth sector is going to create jobs and spur the economy on to recovery and then growth. There is a very vocal movement of sceptics challenging Australia’s net contribution to the global carbon footprint and – much like their American counterparts – claiming that it will restrict business and cost too much in the way of money and jobs.

The Cost of Not Acting

Aside from the very real threat of not acting for the long-term future of the planet, it may cost your business by not enacting measures to reduce your carbon footprint. Water wastage, non-energy efficient lighting and not having other measures in place will all affect the potential for lease and sale of your property. Businesses are actively looking to cut costs on essential utilities. They are not going to consider your building if you have a low NABERS rating – your property becomes less attractive as a potential site and it has already been demonstrated that new businesses are actively looking at NABERS rating of prospective real estate.

If your office premises are over 2000sqm then you are legally obliged to obtain a NABERS rating anyway so it is on your best interests to ensure that you have done everything you can to reduce your carbon footprint throughout your properties. The cost of non-compliance for buildings over this size is $110,000 fine place $11,000 per day beyond the date of the breach.

Though smaller premises are not legally obliged to have a NABERS rating, there are good reasons (stated above) for entering into the programme in what is a very competitive market at the moment.

The Prestige of NABERS

NABERS is unique internationally in the way that it measures the environmental impact of individual buildings – no other system in the world measures individual buildings in such detail. It is also unique in Australia for being the only system inside the country to provide a reliable measure of the impact of buildings. Globally, NABERS allows the country’s commercial property sector to lead the standard on measuring a building’s carbon footprint. As it is a national standard, you can rest assured that a NABERS rating in Queensland has the same impact and prestige as a NABERS rating in New South Wales. It is a universal mark measuring sustainability practices and good management of utilities and awareness of cost-saving measures.

So instead of worrying about the cost of the NABERS system to your business, think about the longer-term costs of not getting on board with the programme. Ausnviro’s rates are competitive and we are market leaders in NABERS assessments.