By Phillip Leaman

27 August 2015

On 1 July 2015, the Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 (Cth) was amended.

Under the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 (Cth) a prospective purchaser or lessee has the right to require the owner to provide a valid and current Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) of a building for commercial buildings with a floor area over 2,000 square metres. Failure to make the relevant disclosure is an offence attracting a civil penalty of up to 1000 penalty units (over $100,000).

Recent amendments to the Act provide for building owners to be exempt from this requirement as follows:

  • When they obtain an unsolicited offer from a prospective purchaser or tenant and the party waive’s their right to a BEEC;
  • When the sale or lease is between wholly-owned subsidiaries
  • When an exemption exists in relation to a building, a new building owner will not be required to reapply or pay the application fee for a new application.

In addition, building owners who are required to produce a Building Energy Efficiency Certificate can now delay their BEEC’s commencement date to be after the certificates issue date, allowing for owners to obtain new certificates ahead of time.

What does this mean for you?

If you are the owner of a building that has a floor area over 2,000 square metres you must comply with the Act unless a specific exemption applies. You must be careful to review exemptions as each has particular guidelines and requirements and an exemption will only apply if all requirements are met. For example, no more than 1 exemption can be sought in respect to an unsolicited offer in any 3 month period. If an exemption applies, an application to apply the exemption must be made.

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