The term “Green Lease” is used to refer to a Lease which has clauses requiring the parties to be energy efficient and sustainable.
The most significant piece of legislation concerning Green Leases is the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 which became law on 1 November 2010. This legislation presently applies to office spaces with areas of more than 2,000m2. The area of the premises is going to be reduced to 1,000m2 on and from 1 July 2017 which will widen the net for premises affected applies to office space with an area of more than 2,000m². A corporate landlord must disclose the energy efficiency of the premises before the Lease is entered into. A corporate landlord of an office space of more than 1,000m² from 1 July 2017 may not advertise a property for lease unless the corporate landlord has a valid current energy efficiency rating and that rating is included in the advertisement. The Building Energy Efficiency Certificate may not be more than 12 months old and must include the energy efficiency rating, give an assessment of the light energy efficiency of the building and give guidance on how energy efficiency might be improved.
The Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 applies currently to corporations only as it has been enacted under Federal jurisdiction. There are proposals to expand the operation of the legislation to other buildings such as retail shopping centres, hotels, hospitals and schools.
There are many ways that premises can be made more efficient. This can be done by installing LED lighting, shading or insulation and double glazing to reduce the need for air conditioning or by ensuring that lighting, heating and cooling systems can be easily controlled and managed effectively. It is a fact that heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems account for most of the energy costs in a commercial building. There are issues in compliance for both landlords and tenants which need to be documented properly.