Introduction to NABERSNZ

Commercial buildings use 21 percent of New Zealand’s electricity, costing businesses hundred of millions of dollars every year. Yet many don't know how well their offices are performing or what improvements and savings can be made.

A NABERSNZ rating provides a simple, comparable, and independent measure of an office's operational performance.


NABERSNZ assesses how energy is used over a 12 month period across three types of ratings:

  • Base building
    • measures the energy performance of a building’s core services – lifts, stairwell lighting, common toilets, air conditioning and ventilation etc.
  • Tenancy
    • measures just the floors/areas occupied exclusively by the tenant, including energy use such as computers, lighting, data centres, and staff kitchens.
  • Whole building
    • combines base building and tenancy ratings.

Rates are awarded from the lowest 0 stars to highest 6 stars.

These ratings clearly shows a building's energy performance compared to others regardless of size or age. Assessments makes adjustments to account for specific variables such as:

  • The climatic conditions in which the building operates
  • The building size and occupancy
  • The hours of use
  • The level of services it provides
  • The energy sources (e.g. electricity, gas, coal, diesel) it uses

The benefits of a NABERSNZ rating

NABERSNZ creates value for anyone who designs, builds, lets or tenants an office building. 


A good Certified Rating is a strong indicator of market appeal. International experience has shown the benefits are more than just financial benefits, such as reduced operating costs, increased value, increased rental income and reduced vacancy rates. It also provides market recognition and a competitive advantage for building owners and tenants who operate in an environmentally efficient manner; helps to create a better work environment for employees; and provides a credible, independently verified means for benchmarking and monitoring actual improvements in performance.

The starting point is to accurately measure and rate your building’s or tenancy’s energy performance.


NABERSNZ is a systematic, proven, cost effective tool to measure how your building is performing. This ensures that on the road to zero carbon, the success and progress of any energy efficiency measures is tracked and demonstrable.

Higher ratings can help attract higher value tenants and higher returns. Well rated assets are shown to have longer lease terms, lower vacancies, and substantially superior net operating income.  Highly rated buildings also have better occupancy rates and longer lease terms. 


Energy efficient buildings reduce your operating costs and many efficiency upgrades cost very little and deliver permanent savings. 

Introduced in Australia two decades ago, NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) users have saved AUS$1 billion in energy bills and 7 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.

You can also build staff productivity by maintaining an efficient tenancy: employees are more likely to remain with an employer who provides a pleasant work environment, and take less sick leave.

A commitment to NABERSNZ can anchor your sustainability values and demonstrate to customers and clients that you are “walking the talk”. Energy efficiency is a straight forward way to engage your staff with sustainability – many efficiencies come from behaviour changes such as switching off lights and computers.

When negotiating lease terms, have a NABERSNZ rating built in. Having the building owner get a base building rating will help ensure your share of building operating expenses is reasonable, and it will also help ensure the premises is a productive work environment.

Property Managers

A NABERSNZ rating gives you an independent way to proving to your client that you are managing their interests well.

A typical office building wastes about 20% of its energy bill each year – simple energy efficiency measures can easily reduce costs for tenants and owners alike.

Efficient building systems typically run smoothly and need less maintenance. Energy efficiency also delivers a more comfortable working environment, leading to more stable tenancies. The cost of implementing many changes is minimal, and your clients will be pleased with the results.


Government procurement

The New Zealand Government’s property and procurement body – Government Property Group has announced new energy efficiency requirements for government offices from the beginning of 2021.

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.
  • The ratings must be publicly disclosed.

To find out more information, please visit the Government's procurement website.