Know your NABERSNZ Webinar Round-up

Here’s what you need to know about NABERSNZ

If you’re a commercial or government building owner, property manager or tenant you might be wondering what NABERSNZ ratings are, how they work, and what’s involved. You’ve also probably heard that as per the New Zealand Government’s property and procurement body, NABERSNZ is now mandatory for office buildings, multi-site properties, and other commercial spaces.

It’s with that in mind that we recently conducted a webinar to explain NABERSNZ and how it may affect you. Our panel of presenters included ESP CEO, Lincoln Watson, our Building Optimisation Manager Hong Lee, and Jack Steele from the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC) offered some valuable insights, including:

  • Why NABERSNZ is necessary to attract and retain government tenants
  • How to reduce OPEX with lower energy costs
  • Providing a quality environment for occupants
  • Improved asset value

We’ve wrapped up the key learnings from the webinar below but if you’d like to listen in you can check it out here.

What is NABERS?

NABERS originated in Australia in 1999, where it’s been very successful. It provides simple, reliable, and comparable sustainability measurements across building sectors like hotels, shopping centres, apartments, offices, data centres, and more. It helps you to accurately measure, understand, and communicate the environmental performance of your building while identifying areas for cost savings and future improvements.


NABERSNZ was launched in 2012, and is run by the NZGBC on behalf of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). It gives entire office and government buildings or individual tenancies an annual rating of zero to six stars on how well they use energy. The ratings have to be updated yearly.

Certified ratings in New Zealand

The panel explained what each of the star ratings mean – 0=poor, all the way through to 6=aspirational performance. The average NABERSNZ-rated building in NZ is 4.13 stars, compared to the average NZ building at just 2.75 stars. NABERSNZ helps buildings to improve their rating over time, which is one of its key goals. While there’s only one 6-star rated building in NZ, there are a number that sit at 5.5—it’s only a matter of time before they achieve the top rating.

The difference between NABERSNZ and Greenstar

Although they both originated in Australia, and in NZ both are licensed and administered by NZGBC, NABERSNZ has an operational energy focus, ensuring energy efficient performance of the building.

Greenstar has two approaches. Design and As Built, meaning a building can be certified as soon as it’s built, and Greenstar Performance which measures ongoing operational performance. The criteria for Greenstar are much broader that NABERSNZ, working on a points system across 9 required criteria.

Types of ratings

  • Whole—this rates the base building and the tenant-occupied space
  • Base build—ratings for central services like heating, cooling, lifts and lobbies
  • Tenancy—a rating for the space the tenant occupies within the building

NABERSNZ Co-assess for business provides one streamlined process for multiple ratings at the same property. Tenancies and businesses are rated alongside the base building, and / or the whole building energy rating.

The webinar discusses how the overall process for gaining a NABERSNZ rating works, detailing the key phases it requires, such as:

  1. What data needs to be gathered for a NABERSNZ rating?
  2. What metering is required to get a NABERSNZ rating?
  3. Why a site visit is needed, and how the functional areas of the building such as retail areas affect NABERSNZ ratings?

It was pointed out that in most cases, the metering needed to provide for NABERSNZ doesn’t align with who’s paying for the energy. In the webinar, the panel stepped through several different scenarios that illustrated metering examples for each rating, including landlord meters, tenant meters, and who would be responsible for improvements. The NZGBC also has a good example of how to design for NABERSNZ ratings.

To explain NABERSNZ ratings for government tenants, the panel provided a simplified process for flow to determine what type of rating is required including:

  • A single tenancy
  • A co-tenancy—all tenancies combined
  • Co-location—all tenancies combined

Since it’s always helpful to see something in action, the panel took an in-depth look at the ratings of some real-life examples here in New Zealand, including the Auckland and Wellington waterfront buildings, and a government building in the Wellington CBD.

So the question is: are you prepared? If you’d like the full story on what you need to do to comply, as well as more details about the benefits you’ll experience, request access to the on-demand webinar and we’ll tell you all you need to know.

Request access to the webinar