First NABERSNZ rating: Treasury awarded 3 stars for energy use

Treasury has gained a three-star NABERSNZ™ Certified Rating - the first awarded under the new energy measurement and rating scheme for New Zealand office buildings.

NABERSNZ was launched last month by Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges. The scheme gives ratings from one to six stars and is set to become an industry standard for benchmarking and improving office building energy use.

To get its rating, Treasury went through an in-depth process with a qualified NABERSNZ assessor, examining energy usage data alongside the types and numbers of equipment, staff numbers and hours of use.

Treasury's 3-star rating is at the upper end of the range representing typical energy performance for New Zealand office buildings - 2.5 to 3 stars.

Bill Moran, Deputy Secretary for Strategy, Change & Performance says it was appropriate that Treasury be one of the first organisations rated, as one of its key objectives is to promote efficiency gains and better value for money across the state sector.

"Getting a NABERSNZ Certified Rating has been invaluable in helping us understand how well we are using energy and how we could be using it better.

"Energy makes up a significant part of our office running costs so this is an important milestone for us.

"Having this insight into how our tenancy is performing has identified many opportunities for improvement. We're now firmly focused on improving the way we use energy - which will lead to higher Certified Ratings in future and most importantly, lower energy costs.

"We'll also be looking at things like engaging and motivating staff so they understand how their actions can help improve our energy performance."

Treasury leases ten floors (7,400 sq m) in the building at 1 The Terrace, owned by Precinct Properties. Precinct is the largest owner of premium inner-city business space in Auckland and Wellington. It has committed to getting NABERSNZ ratings for its entire $1.6 billion portfolio, and provided key building information to enable the Treasury rating.

NABERSNZ Certified Ratings can be obtained for tenancies, base buildings or whole buildings.

New Zealand Green Building Council chief executive Alex Cutler says NABERSNZ would prove its worth for tenants, owners, and a wide range of organisations.

"NABERSNZ creates a market value for good energy management - reducing costs for tenants and improving capital value for building owners. Smart design principles create a blueprint for energy efficient buildings, but how they're commissioned, maintained and used is crucial in day-to-day energy performance.

"NABERSNZ has strong buy-in from business and the public sector. It's off to a very promising start."

EECA Chief Executive Mike Underhill says NABERSNZ ratings simplified complex energy use information so it can be easily understood and compared - which would become invaluable in driving improvement.

"Most office buildings and tenancies could make energy savings of up to 25%. Getting and improving a NABERSNZ rating is the best way to identify and make these savings.

"A typical premium, serviced office building in the CBD of one of our main centres could spend between $300,000 and $500,000 on energy every year, so the potential saving is very significant," he says.

The Treasury rating was carried out by Patrick Arnold from eCubed Building Workshop, one of 11 NABERSNZ Trainee Assessors.

"It's great to have a tool to accurately measure and drive improvement to office building energy performance, in-use, rather than just looking at energy efficiency at the design stage," he says.