Government offices to require NABERSNZ ratings

03 November 2020

Image courtesy of McKee Fehl

It’s official.

The New Zealand Government’s property and procurement body has announced new energy efficiency requirements for government offices will take effect at the start of next year.

This is big news for anyone who has been following the shifting government commitment to energy ratings since NABERSNZ was first introduced in 2013.

The requirements in a nutshell:

  • From 1 January 2021, these standards are compulsory for all agencies who occupy single-tenant, co-tenanted, or co-located government office accommodation. Non-mandated agencies are encouraged to follow these standards
  • For existing buildings – agencies entering a new lease or renewing an existing lease should target a NABERSNZ rating above 5 stars and achieve a minimum of 4 stars.
  • For new buildings – agencies planning a new build project need to achieve a minimum of 5 star NABERSNZ rating.

Encouragingly, the ratings must be publicly disclosed. 


This move is significant for a number of reasons:

  • Mandatory energy declarations through NABERS in Australia at point of sale and lease have helped drive strong environmental efficiencies across the market. With 78% of Australia’s office space rated, there have been AUD$1 billion savings in energy bills and 7 million tonnes of CO2 emissions saved since the rating system began.
  • As one of the biggest tenants nationwide, NABERSNZ requirements on Government offices sends a strong signal to the market of the importance of energy disclosure.
  • The number of ratings prompted by this decision will also provide useful benchmarks and targets for energy efficiency of offices across the New Zealand property sector and help to incentive the adoption of energy efficient systems and improvement.
  • Government leading with NABERSNZ procurement is part of NZGBC’s call to government as published in the 2019 Zero Carbon Road Map for Aotearoa’s buildings.

It is a very welcome, heartening step forward. That being said, there is still work to do to ensure all buildings are considering their energy use. Energy-efficiency labelling should be expanding across all residential builds and large commercial buildings over the next few years. You can check out the full Zero Carbon Road Map here.

A huge congratulations to all those who have supported NZGBC and EECA in our quest for Government to show leadership through NABERSNZ, to our market leading property owners and managers who have been advocating for and utilising NABERSNZ over the years and our hardworking assessors.

Interested in NABERSNZ? Find out more