NABERS is landing in the UK - what does this mean for you? - Inteb

NABERS is landing in the UK – what does this mean for you?


In February 2021, our article about the new NABERS UK energy scheme for UK offices landing in the UK explained about the six-star rating system and why it’s being launched.

But what we didn’t do was tell you what it means for you.

Getting ready for net-zero

If the UK is to reduce its carbon emissions by 57% based on 1990 levels by 2030 and 80% by 2050 (Climate Change Act 2008), NABERS has a significant role in helping businesses and buildings hit net-zero targets.

And as part of their net-zero plans, businesses and building owners are looking at relatively ‘quick wins’ like:

  • Purchasing renewable energy
  • Offsetting carbon emissions (planting trees, etc.)

And this is great, but the real value to your business isn’t these quick wins. The real value from an environmental and financial point of view is energy efficiency that leads to lower energy consumption per:

  • Capita
  • Square meter (floor area)

Both of which result in lower carbon emissions and increase profitability due to lower energy costs. Business premises tend to make up a substantial proportion of carbon emissions, so it’s vital to address this as part of any net-zero strategy.

Understanding a NABERS UK certification

Certification schemes like NABERS and BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) help building owners, investors, and managers of commercial premises assess their impact on the environment.

BREEAM is a certification more familiar to building owners because it’s been used in the UK for many years, either through the New Construction or In-Use standards, and offers a holistic view of the environmental impact (including materials, health & well-being, etc.)

NABERS is different because it focuses solely on energy performance.

And although it complements BREEAM, it’s a simpler and more relevant standard to work towards – if your focus is on operational energy and resulting carbon emissions.

Why NABERS UK is the simpler option

The NABERS one-to-six stars rating system makes it easy for building owners, investors and managers to understand where they are on the scale and what they need to aim for to make things better.

It’s similar to the GRESB (Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark) one-to-five-star ratings, which has become the ‘norm’ for large Commercial Real Estate funds.

The NABERS UK star system allows people to establish what is good compared to not so good. This helps building owners understand their building’s performance compared to similar structures and provides a benchmark for progress and targets for improving performance.


Image credit: NABERS AU

Similar to the difference between an EPC and a DEC, NABERS UK measures and rates the actual energy use of offices, rather than the design performance, which only suggests what optimal performance could look like. The Design for Performance (DfP) initiative is an industry backed project established to tackle this gap between intent and actual performance and compliments NABERS & GRESB.

This is all great news for occupiers and tenants as it identifies areas for savings and improvements.

What NABERS UK means for you

Put simply: NABERS UK is being brought in to close the ‘performance gap’ between:

How much energy a building is designed to consume


How much it actually consumes

This is often a frustration for operational managers of office buildings as, in theory, they’re designed to operate to a very high standard of energy efficiency. But due to issues at the completion/handover stage. Or misunderstandings in how technology works, buildings are run inefficiently, resulting in higher than expected energy consumption.

Need help meeting NABERS UK standards?

Inteb can help.

We help investors, owners and managers assess your buildings using the NABERS UK standard and set up an action plan to focus on areas where you can:

  • Making savings and improvements
  • Prioritise by cost/carbon savings
  • Gain a good return on investment

Also, many of the recommendations from building certification assessments fit in with Inteb’s core business offering, like:

  • Granular sub-metering and data analysis
  • Project management of plant efficiency improvements
  • Pro-active energy management programmes and occupier engagement

This means we’re able to offer you assistance beyond the initial consultancy, should you need it.

Need help getting started?

Let’s get the conversation started – call us now on 0151 601 3476