Obtaining a higher NABERS energy star rating and reducing operating and emissions costs is more important than ever as the Australian property sector shifts towards a more sustainable future.

Building owners are now looking for more ways to increase energy savings and reduce their carbon footprint for a higher energy star rating. This comes as changes to the National Greenhouse Accounts (NGA) emissions factors have shifted to better reflect the alteration to the energy mix, which has shifted mostly to electricity since it was last updated 10 years ago. This change means that energy star ratings require greater energy efficiency to credit a building with a higher rating.

Australian building owners who are looking to shift their operations to suit a more sustainable future and increase their portfolio credibility can use two primary organisations to measure their building’s energy efficiency. These two organisations are NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) and Green Building Council of Australia. Both organisations provide first-rate benchmarks for building owners to measure, report and evaluate their energy efficiency.

To assist with determining which rating system is best to use, keep reading to discover the differences and benefits of the two.

What is NABERS

NABERS uses tools to measure a building’s water, electricity, waste, energy usage and indoor environment, giving owners and operators insight into the operational energy consumption of their facility.

The rating scale goes from 1 –6 stars, with 1 being poor energy usage and 6 being the highest efficiency. A building with a high NABERS rating will demonstrate a commitment to sustainability, lower energy bills and enhanced indoor air quality, which will lead to an increase in the value of the building. When leasing, subletting or selling a commercial space of 1000 square metres, it is a legal obligation that the owners have a NABERS certificate for the office. 


 Evaluating a facility’s energy efficiency each year with the NABERS benchmark allows building owners and operators to identify potential energy-saving opportunities, make improvements on previous reduction strategies and create new goals for an annual carbon footprint reduction.

In doing so, owners and operators are also ensuring the longevity of the building by ensuring optimal equipment performance and meeting high tenant expectations, increasing retention rates. Having a high NABERS rating puts owners at a competitive advantage by indicating to the Australian property industry that their building’s sustainability initiatives are to a higher standard.

What is Green Star?

On the other hand, the Green Building Council of Australia is a rating tool used to determine the sustainability of the facility’s fit-outs and designs. It measures the building’s sustainability of the built environment, this can be during the design, construction and fit-out stages.

The Green Building Council of Australia also has a 6-star rating system, with 1 being the lowest and 6 being the highest energy efficiency.

Having a Green Star rated building means building owners will follow the best sustainability standards with an asset designed to achieve high energy efficient results. Green Star rated buildings produce around 55% less greenhouse gas emissions and send minimal waste to landfill during the buildings construction phase.


Acquiring a certified Green Star rating on the fit-out and design of the building gives owners and operators the capability to ensure future low operational costs as it produces less carbon and uses less energy.

The sustainability of the building will also keep employees comfortable with an optimised and healthy indoor environment. A high Green Star rating will also give owners a more competitive advantage by demonstrating corporate and social responsibility through increased comfort and sustainability.

What’s the Difference?

Both energy rating systems are tools for building owners and operators to reduce their carbon footprint and save costs on energy consumption. NABERS provide energy ratings based on the productivity and usage of the building, focusing on the operational energy output. 

While Green Star provides its star rating based on the level of sustainability of the facility’s built environment. Green Star measures the sustainability of the building’s design, while NABERS measures the sustainability of its operations. 

Both share the same advantages of improving a building’s productivity and reducing operational costs, as well as improving the morale of the building’s occupants while ensuring a more sustainable future to benefit the environment.  

How Conservia Can Help

At Conservia, our goal is to get buildings to 5-Star NABERS rating and beyond. With our highly skilled team of energy efficiency experts, we specialise in assisting building owners and operators in reducing their energy consumption whilst improving the indoor environment for its occupants.

Our energy-saving solutions are guaranteed to deliver results ensuring you stay ahead of the curve. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help reduce your energy output and achieve or improve your NABERS rating.

Towards Net Zero

We’re building a future towards net zero carbon emission assets. Fund your project through energy savings and start achieving your net zero and NABERS rating goals today.

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