Energy efficiency in commercial buildings: Does your property measure up?

How getting a NABERSNZ rating benefits building owners, property managers and tenants

NABERSNZ ratings are becoming a familiar term in NZ. If you’re keen on a recap about what they actually are, we’ve published a white paper and hosted a webinar that covers the basics.


NABERSNZ is run by the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC) on behalf of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). It gives offices and commercial buildings a rating of zero to six stars based on how well they use energy. These ratings are then updated yearly. Here’s a quick rundown of the types of ratings:

  • Base building: an assessment of how your building’s core services measure up.
  • Tenancy: an assessment of what a tenant is using: floor space and energy use.
  • Whole building: a combination of base and tenancy.

As per the New Zealand Government’s property and procurement body, a good NABERSNZ rating is now mandatory for government tenancies. However, there are benefits beyond this mandatory requirement that make NABERSNZ ratings worthwhile for asset owners, managers and tenants themselves.

Benefits of a good NABERSNZ rating for building owners 

When promoting the energy efficiency of your building to attract high quality tenants, being able to highlight a good NABERSNZ rating is essential. This is especially true if you want to attract blue chip tenants such as government agencies.

Often, there’s a good chance that high quality tenants won’t consider your building if it doesn’t have a good NABERSNZ rating and a commitment to a) improving it and b) maintaining it.

When you’re assessed by a NABERSNZ ratings supplier, you’ll land somewhere between zero and six stars. The more stars you achieve, the more you’ll be reducing your operational expenditure (opex). When energy use decreases, so do running costs. These reductions can then be passed onto your tenants, allowing you to retain and attract great tenants.

These are marketable features and ones that should be emphasised when advertising your commercial rental space.

For constant validity, you must get a NABERSNZ assessment annually. Even if you hit the holy grail of a six-star rating, it’s only valid for a year. What this means is you’re demonstrating a commitment to not only maximising the energy efficiency of your building, but also maintaining it.

Benefits of a good NABERSNZ rating for property managers

If you’re a property manager and you invest in a NABERSNZ assessment, you’re demonstrating to your clients that you’re managing their assets well, reducing costs and increasing its attractiveness to tenants.

Energy efficient buildings operate smoothly and require less maintenance, which are all beneficial to a property manager’s clients and tenants.

Benefits of a good NABERSNZ rating for tenants  

When a business leases space in a building with a good NABERSNZ rating, they can include it in their sustainability policies and documentation. It demonstrates your commitment to the environment, which is especially important for listed companies as they need to include it in their reporting.

Most organisations are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and occupying an energy efficient building is essential to achieving this.

Tenants also benefit from a reduced opex. Because NABERSNZ ratings are designed to help buildings improve over time, this means on-going cost savings.

A company’s employees will benefit from a pleasant, energy efficient and sustainable environment, which often leads to them becoming more engaged in ‘green’ behaviour such as cycling to work or replacing their petrol and diesel vehicles with electric alternatives. It’s a self-managing positive feedback loop for sustainable behaviour.

What happens when you get your building assessed for NABERSNZ by ESP 

We’re New Zealand’s leading supplier of NABERSNZ ratings. Our assessments highly cost-effective and we’re on board for the whole journey. Not only do we provide a rating, but we also offer the experience and tools to help you efficiently achieve the NABERSNZ ratings required by high quality tenants and government agencies.

If you score less than you’d like, we’ll work with you to achieve an improved rating. If you get a great result with your first assessment, we’ll help you maintain it. We provide upfront, realistic advice, as well as actionable insights into the energy efficiency of your building or tenancy.

Keen to find out how you stack up on the NABERSNZ scale? Let’s talk