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What is an Agreement to Rate?

An Agreement to Rate is a contract signed by a developer or owner to commit to  obtaining a NABERS rating once their building becomes operational.

The Agreement to Rate is to be signed at the design stage of a building, and can be used for multiple NABERS rating types, including:

  • Energy
  • Water
  • Indoor Environment
  • Waste
  • Embodied Emissions
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    Why get an Agreement to Rate?

    NABERS has created the Agreement to Rate contract to assist local councils and state authorities to develop and implement policy that promotes measurement of building operations. It also allows developers and building owners to meet any policy obligations and commit to improved building performance. 
    There are several reasons why someone may sign an Agreement to Rate contract:

    • Provides a cost-effective alternative to the Commitment Agreement
    • Can be used for any rating type
    • One application can be used for multiple rating types for the same building
    • Simple and fast process with no requirement for modelling during design phase
    • Can be used alone or alongside a Commitment Agreement to meet developers’ requirements and obligations
    • May result in increased value and reduced environmental impact upon completion and rating

    Who can get an Agreement to Rate?

    An Agreement to Rate can be signed by owners or developers for all new, or refurbished buildings. 

    The Agreement to Rate application process

    How to apply for an Agreement to Rate

    To apply for an Agreement to Rate, you need to use our online application form. You can include multiple rating types within one Agreement to Rate for the same building (i.e. Energy, Water and Embodied Emissions can all be part of the same agreement). 
    Follow these steps to submit your application: 

    1. Download the Agreement to Rate contract
    2. Complete and sign the application form
    3. You will receive an email containing your with the invoice and application details
    4. Make payment online using one of three available methods:
      1. Credit card
      2. PAY ID (clearing time of 24 hours)
      3. BPAY (clearing time of 48 hours)
    5. Once payment is received, your application will be processed by NABERS. You will receive your counter-signed agreement within five business days

    What to do once you have your Agreement to Rate contract
    Contact NABERS to confirm the following details:

    • The date your Occupancy Certificate is granted  
    • Any changes of building ownership, applicant details, company details or project details

    Get a NABERS performance rating once you have 12 months of data

    • Arrange for an Accredited Assessor to carry out a NABERS Performance Rating on the premises when it is ready for its first performance rating – usually after 12-24 months of operation
    • The Accredited Assessor will advise NABERS this is part of the Agreement to Rate 
    • NABERS will close the agreement and confirm via email

    Agreement to Rate for a mixed-use building

    When one building consists of multiple building types, a separate application, agreement and payment is required for each building type. 

    Agreement to Rate discount

    The Agreement to Rate can be used on its own for all rating types, or alongside a Commitment Agreement for Energy to meet developers’ requirements and obligations.
    In the instance where both contracts are used together, the Agreement to Rate will be included in the cost of a Commitment Agreement.

    To take advantage of this discount:  

    1. Apply and pay for the Agreement to Rate
    2. Wait for the payment confirmation email to be sent to you
    3. Email a PDF of your Agreement to Rate payment confirmation email along with your Commitment Agreement to nabers@environment.nsw.gov.au  
    4. Once the NABERS team has verified your details, you will receive a Commitment Agreement invoice or refund for the discounted amount

    Please note: The Commitment Agreement fee will be discounted by the Agreement to Rate fee paid if both agreements are purchased for the same building before a building permit (or equivalent) is granted. Please see current pricing and offers for more information and applicable terms and conditions. 

    NSW Sustainable Buildings SEPP and the Agreement to Rate

    From 1 October 2023, as part of the NSW State Environmental Planning Policy (Sustainable Buildings 2022), also known as the Sustainable Buildings SEPP, all large commercial developments will be required to commit to obtaining a minimum NABERS Energy and Water star rating.   

    The NSW Sustainable Buildings SEPP is the first example of the Agreement to Rate contract in use as a compliance mechanism for state planning policy. The Agreement to Rate is to be signed at the design stage of a building and assists developers in meeting their requirements under the policy. 


    Energy and Water Standards

    For compliance with the Sustainable Buildings SEPP, large commercial developments that must obtain a NABERS Energy and Water rating include offices over 1000m2, hotels with 100+ rooms and buildings with 100 or more serviced apartments. 

    The minimum required NABERS Energy and Water ratings are defined as follows: