Businesses in Mildura Rural City can access Environmental Upgrade Finance for projects that help them save money and improve their economic and environmental performance. Council has partnered with Better Building Finance to offer this to local businesses.
Environmental Upgrade Finance (EUF) is a loan for building upgrade works, repaid via quarterly council rates. A lender provides the upfront capital for the works, which the building owner then repays through the council rates system over periods of up to 20 years. Council then remits it back to the lender.
EUF involves a three-way agreement between the property owner, Council, and lender, called an Environmental Upgrade Agreement (EUA). It helps building owners to make upgrades that improve the value of their property and reduce their energy bills. If the property is leased the building owner can easily share the repayments with their tenants, allowing tenants to benefit from reduced operating costs, and owners to improve the value of their asset.
The key features of EUF that make it different to traditional finance are:
- Low interest, quarterly repayments made via a local council charge.
- Up to 100% project finance, including hard and soft costs.
- Loan terms can extend from 5 to 20 years to maximise business cash flow.
- Loans are tied to the property and building, not the business owner, making them easily transferable if the building is sold.
- Landlords can split repayments with tenants, with both parties benefiting from the upgrade.
- No requirement for personal, business, or other forms of security to be provided.
By using EUF to fund their building upgrades, businesses can benefit from:
- Reduced business operating costs
- Positive cash flow outcome from project – often from year one
- Security from volatile energy markets
- Media and promotional opportunities
- A better and healthier working environment
- Environmental leadership in the community
EUF can be used to fund a broad range of upgrade works, such as solar, waste, and water projects. It just needs to improve the energy, water, environmental efficiency, or overall sustainability of an existing building. Popular projects include:
- Solar systems, solar PV (photovoltaic) panels and battery solutions.
- Energy efficiency upgrades – such as lighting and control.
- Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems.
- Green and cool roof installations.
- Water efficiency and treatment systems.
- Waste management.
- Electric vehicle charging stations.
While these are just some of the upgrades you can make using EUF, it can be used for any project that has a positive environmental benefit. Get in contact with Better Building Finance if you have a project that’s not on the list to find out if it qualifies.
To qualify for EUF, applicants need to meet the eligibility criteria listed below as well as any credit criteria set by the lender:
- The upgrade is to existing buildings, located on rateable land within the council boundaries.
- The upgrade project has a measurable environmental benefit, such as energy, water or waste, or addresses other sustainability or climate change issues.
- The property must be predominately non-residential (such as commercial or industrial) and not be owned by a self-managed superannuation fund.
- The property and/or property owner is not in the business of fossil fuels, live animal export, intensive farming, gambling, tobacco, or the arms industry.
- The business and property must be up-to-date on all rates and charges due to Council.
EUF is simple, transparent and easy to organise. The key steps to follow are:
- Scope the environmental upgrade project with a contractor.
- Better Building Finance can help connect businesses with participating lenders.
- Lender provides the upfront capital for the upgrade project.
- Owner (and/or tenant) makes repayments via an Environmental Upgrade Charge (EUC) on council rates.
As part of the application process the applicant will need to:
- Provide details about the upgrade project and the business that is pursuing the project.
- Provide property ownership information, ABN/ACN if applicable, and authorised signatories.
- Provide information about mortgages, loans or leases that are secured against the property.
- Finally upload the following documents:
- Project proposal (from contractor or installer).
- Council rates notice.
- Copy of property owner’s ID.
Click here to apply for EUF.
To enquire about applying for EUF contact Better Building Finance. They will check your eligibility and assist you throughout the application process.
Phone: 1300 101 223
For more information contact Mildura Rural City Council’s Energy & Water Innovation Officer on 03 5018 8100.