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Climate Solutions Fund > How it works > Explore project types > Commercial buildings projects

Commercial buildings projects

The benefits

AA commercial buildings project reduces emissions by making upgrades that improve building energy efficiency. This earns Australian carbon credit units (carbon credits) in return for reducing energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions.

Improving building energy efficiency has a number of benefits for building owners and property managers:


Diversified revenue

Carbon credits provide another income stream for your property.


Lower electricity bills

Improving the energy efficiency of your building lowers energy bills.


Tenant attraction

Appeal to growing market demand for sustainable and efficient buildings.


Environmental action

Be recognised for your contribution to Australia's emissions reductions.

Help with these projects

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The basics

Introduction to commercial building projects, how they work and their eligibility requirements.

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The details

Further information and resources commercial building projects under the Emissions Reduction Fund.


How these projects work

A commercial buildings project involves making upgrades that improve building energy efficiency. You will need to get your building assessed before and after your upgrades to establish a National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) rating. NABERS is a government initiative that assesses and rates the energy efficiency of buildings using a star rating system.

Reductions in energy consumption will lead to an increase in your NABERS star rating. You can receive carbon credits after an increase of at least one NABERS star.

Project activities

You can improve your energy efficiency by undertaking a broad range of activities, such as: Improve your soil carbon levels by introducing one or more new eligible land management activities, such as:

  • Upgrading lighting or appliances, or changing the building exterior - for example, installing double glazed windows.
  • Changing energy sources of equipment like hot water systems, or improving energy management systems such as motion sensor lights.
  • Promoting energy-conserving behaviour among building occupants - for example, encouraging occupants to switch off computers overnight and on weekends.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible you must:

  • Identify eligible buildings - these include existing buildings that are classified as offices, hotels, or shopping centres that can be rated under the NABERS program.
  • Establish legal right (the right to run your project and claim carbon credits) - for example, entering into legal arrangements with the building owners, building managers and tenants.
  • Obtain regulatory approvals required to run your project and ensure project activities are not required to be carried out under a Commonwealth, State or Territory law.
  • Ensure project activities do not receive benefits from a state or territory energy efficiency scheme (for example, under the New South Wales Energy Savings Scheme).
  • Make sure your project is new - you cannot start project activities until after we register your project.

Running and reporting on your project

As part of registering a project, you will need to describe your proposed activities, provide the types of buildings and calculate your expected carbon credits.

There are operating, reporting and audit obligations in running a commercial buildings project. You will need to report on your project at least once every two years. You receive carbon credits each time you report calculated emissions reductions over seven years.

Relevant legislation and resources

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