Why be energy efficient?

Improving energy efficiency in the commercial and services sector makes good business sense. Investing in the overall energy efficiency of commercial buildings improves asset value by costing less to operate and maintain. Energy-efficient green buildings secure tenants more quickly, enjoy lower tenant turnover, command higher rents and prices, and improve the productivity of occupants.

Increasingly, government and large corporations are using green leases that require owners of office and commercial building space to meet certain energy efficiency standards. The Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) program requires sellers or lessors of office space with a minimum net lettable area of 1000 square metres, to obtain and disclose an up-to-date energy efficiency rating.

Ways to save

See ways to save in Commercial buildings

Case studies

Energy Efficiency at the University of Queensland 2013

Department of the Environment and Energy

PDF 1.2 MB

This case study describes how the University of Queensland reduced its energy consumption at its St Lucia campus by integrating energy management into their governance structures and improving its energy data analysis and systems.

1200 Buildings Program - Financing building retrofits

Sustainable Melbourne Fund

The 1200 Buildings Program is a City of Melbourne initiative which seeks to catalyse the environmental retrofit of 1200 non-residential buildings or 70% of the commercial building stock within the city. A range of case studies have been developed profiling a range of buildings which have been upgraded as part of the program.


AHA Hotel Energy Efficiency Program 2013

This website provides information for the hospitality and accommodation sectors to assess how energy is used in their businesses, identify emissions, and implement strategies to reduce energy use and operational costs.

Energy Management Guide for Tenants 2012

This guide developed by National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) assists tenants in office buildings to manage their energy use. It provides practical advice for tenants in large and small offices, new fitouts and established tenancies on how to save energy, as well as where to go for professional advice and assistance.

Low Growth Carbon Plan - Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings 2010

PDF 1.0 MB

This report from ClimateWorks Australia and the Australian Carbon Trust utilises the commercial buildings sector analysis of the Low Carbon Growth Plan for Australia to identify significant carbon emission reduction opportunities and energy and cost savings achievable by making Australia’s commercial buildings more energy efficient.

Energy Efficiency in Commercial and Residential Buildings 2011

Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency

This report finds that energy efficiency initiatives in the built environment will create some new occupations, as well as the need to update skills and knowledge in existing occupations.

Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency

Understanding the Performance of Commercial Green Buildings 2011 

PDF 391 KB

This report examines the performance of, and interaction between, green design elements, internal environmental quality, occupant experience, tenant/leasing agreements, and building regulation and management.

Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre

Energy Mass Balance: Commercial Buildings 2010

Department of the Environment and Energy

PDF 550 KB

This document developed by the Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) program provides details on how to undertake an energy-mass balance (EMB) on a commercial building. An EMB is a model, from an energy perspective, of how a process or system works. It helps to understand the energy flows, mass flows, and other factors influencing energy efficiency, to determine the efficiencies of processes and equipment, and to evaluate the effects of external factors. 

  1. Green Building Council of Australia (2008) Green Building Market Report 2008 (Cost associated with this product)
  2. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (2005) Green Value: Green Buildings, Growing Assets Green Values Report (Opens in a new window) PDF 260 KB
  3. Department of Industry Commercial Building Disclosure