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Benchmark the energy performance of New Zealand's office buildings with NABERSNZ

New Zealand’s leading performance certification for office buildings, NABERSNZ helps businesses measure and optimise their energy use.

It is an independent tool, backed by the New Zealand government.


NABERSNZ provides a framework for tenants, property managers, and building owners to understand how energy is being used, as well as how that compares to other similar buildings.

With a rating from 0 to 6 stars based on a building or tenancies annual energy use, a NABERSNZ provides an independent, industry recognised benchmark for operational performance.




Through measuring and benchmarking, NABERSNZ helps develop an understanding of how well you’re managing energy use in your building or tenancy. You can get an idea of how your building is performing and where future efficiency improvements can be made


A NABERSNZ rating is much more than just an accurate measure of how well you are using energy. Your Accredited Assessor can help you identify areas where you can improve energy performance to make immediate and long-term savings, often without additional capital spending. Once you’ve started the journey to better energy management, you can improve your star rating over time.


A NABERSNZ rating communicates at a glance your organisation’s commitment to energy management and can help you stand out in the marketplace. Ratings can be compared, regardless of building/tenancy size, or climate – it doesn’t matter if you're in Auckland or Invercargill.


How does it work?

Depending on the extent to which you use your office building, a NABERSNZ certification offers flexibility. NABERSNZ ratings come in three forms. Each provide a benchmark of energy use at various scales, while sharing the same set of considerations:
- 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
In all cases, the rating is reflective of the energy use over a 12 month period, and remains valid for one year. This encourages continuous monitoring and means that when your energy efficiency improves, you'll be able to prove it.


Whole building rating
All energy used in a building including tenancies and core building services.
Base building rating
The energy used in the building's core services -lifts, stairwell lighting, communal areas, common toilets, central air conditioning and staff kitchens. This rating excludes tenancies.
Tenancy rating
The energy use of an individual building tenancy. This rating considers only the floor area occupied by a tenant, and considers energy used by things like computers, lighting, data centres, and staff kitchens. 
To achieve a NABERSNZ certification, a NABERSNZ accredited Assessor will compile your data including 12 months of utility bills, up-to-date survey drawings inline with PCNZ standards, the hours of occupancy, and computer counts for tenancy or whole building ratings. The Assessor will be able to provide an indicative rating, which will be submitted to the NZGBC for audit, verification, and final certification. 
An international recognised standard, backed by the New Zealand government

NABERSNZ is based on the National Australian Building Environmental Rating System (NABERS) and has been adapted for the New Zealand market. It is licensed by the New Zealand government’s Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority (EECA) and administered on their behalf by the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC).

In Australia, NABERS is mandatory for commercial office space of 1000m2 or more which is offered for sale or lease.

From 2021 the New Zealand government has required all government offices above 2,000m²  have a base build rating by December 2025. A tenancy rating is also required when a building is at or above 5,000m². Agencies entering a new lease, or renewing an existing lease should achieve a minimum of four stars, while government agencies planning a new build project need to achieve a minimum rating of five stars.

Frequently asked questions


Get in touch with the NABERSNZ team if you'd like to discuss getting a NABERSNZ rating for your building or portfolio

A NABERSNZ rating generally takes six to eight weeks from start to finish. The best way to ensure a timely rating is to keep good records and have all the appropriate data on hand.

Generally a rating application will progress through the following process:
  • The client (building owner/manager/tenant) engages an Assessor to carry out a NABERSNZ rating.
  • The Assessor compiles data, including a site visit to the building for verification, and input data into the Certified Rating tool.
  • The Assessor submits the rating for client authorisation.
  • The client reviews and decides whether to proceed with the rating.
  • NZGBC receives and registers certification payment.
  • NZGBC audits, verifies and certifies the rating.
  • The client is notified of certification and receives an electronic Rating Certificate and Rating Report.
The key to a timely and accurate NABERSNZ rating is preparation. You’ll need to make sure you have all the necessary data on hand and readily available for your NABERSNZ Assessor. This will save you time and money and make the process much easier.

Data required for a NABERSNZ Certified Rating:
  • Utility bills covering 12 months of energy data
  • Up to date survey drawings inline with PCNZ standard
  • Hours of occupancy
  • Computer counts for tenancy or whole building rating
A free online self-assessment rating is also available to help get an initial idea about how your property might rate and what it will take to achieve a target NABERSNZ Certified Rating. The results of this tool are indicative only, based on the data you submit and should not be taken as a guarantee of achieving a specific star rating or promoted or published.

A rating is conducted by an Assessor in compliance with the NABERSNZ Rules for collecting and using data. In some circumstances your Assessor may require more detailed information to perform your rating application.

Note that submetering is required for tenancy or base building ratings. If there is inadequate submetering, a whole building rating should be performed.
A NABERSNZ rating is just the start of a journey and provides a snapshot of your energy performance for the previous year. Once you know how efficient your premises is compared to your peers, you can start to make improvements ahead of re-rating. Here are some useful tips to save energy use and improve your rating next time:
  • Establish an energy management strategy for your company
  • Energy monitoring and reporting helps identify areas of inefficient energy use 
  • Fine tune and commission to improve current building management systems to efficiently control lighting, heating and cooling system
  • Install energy efficient lighting
  • Behaviour changes of tenants and employees to take consideration of energy savings (e.g. turn off lights, monitors, appliances when not in use)
  • Replace non-energy efficient office appliances
Your NABERSNZ Assessor will be able to provide personalised recommendations based on your current rating
We are seeing a growing number NABERSNZ related clauses as part of new building design agreements and retrofit projects, and there are strong needs from design teams to correctly understand NABERSNZ requirements on sub-metering. NABERSNZ requires tenancy and base building loads to be metered separately. It is recommended that all sub-metering is installed in accordance with the NABERSNZ Rules.  

More broadly, buildings with more efficient systems and renewable energy sources will likely achieve higher ratings. If you are committed to achieving a high NABERSNZ star rating, we would encourage energy efficiency be prioritised early in the design of a new build or fit-out project. 
NABERSNZ Assessors operate independently and negotiate their own fees. As a guide, a NABERSNZ rating should cost between $1,000 to $6,000 depending on the type of rating, building size, and complexity of gathering data. The price is market-driven and we recommend that you seek several quotes from Assessors before proceeding.

The certification fee payable to the New Zealand Green Building Council is $1,500 (excl GST).
A discount of $300 is availabe for:
- ratings of an area less than 1,000 square meters.
- premises rated previously (re-ratings)
- clients registering 3 or more ratings at one time
Generally the cost of second and subsequent ratings should be lower with much of the preparatory work already done for the first rating. 
NABERSNZ looks solely at energy performance, and is used once buildings are occupied and operating for a year or more.

Broadly, Green Star certification considers the design and construction of a building and assesses a range of environmental criteria. Green Star - Performance NZ does consider building operations, however, while NABERSNZ is purely concerned with energy use, Green Star - Performance NZ considers other emissions factors such as waste, water use, use of refrigerants etc.


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