Operating and maintaining a residential apartment building is not easy, or cheap. In fact, energy and water expenses can account for some of the largest costs for owners corporations, yet little is known about the efficiency of buildings’ common areas which makes identifying the opportunities for improvement difficult.

NABERS – which stands for the National Australian Built Environment Rating System  – is developing an assessment tool which will measure and rate the energy and water performance of apartment buildings to provide the first step towards maximizing efficiencies and cost savings.

It’s set to launch in June 2018.


NABERS ratings have helped the commercial buildings sector reduce energy and water consumption at an unprecedented rate.  NABERS rated buildings have saved nearly half a billion dollars in energy bills since 2010.  Plus, long-term NABERS users reduce emissions by more than 40% on average. The new apartment buildings tool has the ability to set the residential sector on a similar pathway to reducing its environmental footprint.

About the rating tool

The new rating system will provide energy and water ratings that indicate how efficient the building’s common areas are compared to other apartment buildings across Australia. The rating will only apply to the building’s common areas and will not include private lots.

Why is this useful?

The energy used by common areas can account for up to 60% of the total building’s energy consumption!

At the moment, there’s no real indication for apartment owners or even potential owners what the energy consumption of a building is like.

Owners corporations, apartment owners, investors, residents, strata managers and building managers can all use the information provided by a NABERS rating to easily understand the performance of the building and opportunities for improvement, and savings.

When will the tool be ready?

A pilot version of the tool will be launched in June 2018. In the meantime, there are plenty of things you can do:

Collate your paperwork: Participants will need to provide building information, building access and 12 months of utility bills (electricity, gas and water) to a NABERS Accredited Assessor, amongst other information.

Spread the word: Start discussing the rating tool with other owners, strata managers, owners corporations, building managers and your networks so everyone can understand the opportunities to get involved.

Become an assessor: NABERS requires all ratings to be lodged by a NABERS Accredited Assessor. Training to become an Assessor for this tool will be available to anyone that meets the NABERS pre-requisites and is being offered half price for the May & June sessions, so contact NABERS if you would like to participate.

Stay in touch

If you are interested in receiving updates on the project or would like to get a rating when the tool launches please contact us at nabers@environment.nsw.gov.au

More information is available here.