Environmental Upgrade Finance (EUF)

We’re helping local businesses unlock savings with Environmental Upgrade Finance

Knox City Council offers access to an Environmental Upgrade Finance (EUF) program to assist Knox businesses to save money and improve their economic and environmental performance.

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 business then repays through the council rates system over periods of up to 20 years. Council then remits it back to the lender.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How does it work?

EUF involves a three-way agreement between a non-residential property owner, Council, and lender, called an Environmental Upgrade Agreement (EUA). It provides an incentive for building owners to upgrade their infrastructure and improve the value of their property. 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:

  • Fixed 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 cashflow
  • Loans are tied to the building, not the business owner, making them easily transferrable 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

Benefits to businesses

By using EUF to fund their building and environmental upgrades, businesses can benefit from:

  • Reduced business operating costs
  • Positive cashflow outcome from project – often from year one
  • Security from volatile energy markets
  • Media and promotional opportunities
  • A better working environment
  • Environmental leadership in the community

What can be funded?

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 sustainability of existing buildings. Popular projects include:

  • Installation of an approved solar hot water or solar panel system 
  • Lighting upgrades to more efficient lighting e.g. LED, lighting controls and daylight sensors
  • Heating, cooling and ventilation improvements or external façade upgrades for solar shading
  • Energy efficient equipment e.g. pumps and variable speed control equipment
  • Rainwater harvesting and filtration systems
  • Water recycling/treatment for re-use of water
  • Waste reduction initiatives

Download EUF Factsheet

Eligibility

To qualify for EUF, applicants need to meet the eligibility criteria listed below as well as any credit criteria set by the lender:

  • Upgrade to existing buildings, located on rateable land within the council boundaries
  • The proposed works should deliver a positive and quantifiable environmental outcome such as energy and/or water savings or waste minimisation
  • Must be up to date on all rates and charges due to council
  • Property type must be predominantly non-residential (such as commercial or industrial) and not be owned by a self-managed superannuation fund.

FAQs

Have a look at the frequently asked questions on the Better Building Finance website.

Next Steps

EUF is simple, transparent and easy to organise. The key steps to follow are:

  1. Scope the environmental upgrade project with a contractor
  2. Better Building Finance can help connect businesses with participating lenders
  3. Lender provides the upfront capital for the upgrade project
  4. Owner (and/or tenant) makes repayments via an Environmental Upgrade Charge (EUC) on council rates

How do I apply?

Knox businesses interested in EUF should contact Better Building Finance.

More information

For more information on Environment Upgrade Agreements or other funding options visit:

https://www.energy.vic.gov.au/energy-efficiency/environmental-upgrade-agreements

https://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/Business

Or contact the City Futures team at Knox Council on 9298 8000.