‘Green’ commercial upgrades

Ageing commercial property in North Sydney can receive an environmental upgrade under an innovative new program supported by North Sydney Council.

Ageing commercial property in North Sydney can receive an environmental upgrade under an innovative new program supported by North Sydney Council. The Environmental Upgrade Agreement (EUA) program provides property owners with a finance mechanism to upgrade their building and repay the loan through a Council charge on the land.

Landlords also have the option to share the cost and loan repayments with tenants who will benefit from cheaper energy bills and a better building to work in.

North Sydney Mayor Jilly Gibson said there had been lots of interest from landlords, and Council had fast tracked internal systems to meet that demand.

“Property owners know that a good environmental performance for their building gives them a competitive edge in the market. The EUA program gives them a low-risk financing option to make it happen.”

Benefits of participating in the EUA program include:

  • Easier access to competitive, long-term capital.
  • Reduced operational costs for the owner and lower occupational costs for tenants.
  • Increased capital value of the building.
  • Managed debt for property owners, because the loan is tied to the property and is not the personal debt of the building owner.
Financing is available for a wide range of retrofit activities including energy and water efficiency, reducing waste, recycling, pollution prevention or reduction and renewable energy projects.

North Sydney is one of four progressive councils to offer the program. The others are the Cities of Sydney, Parramatta and Melbourne. The NSW Government is funding feasibility studies in Wollongong, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Penrith Councils to help establish EUAs in their areas.

Parramatta City Council is the first council in NSW to sign an EUA, with Australian Unity. The tenant, NSW State Property Authority, initiated the project and will have achieved an Australian first where tenants have contributed to the repayment of the EUA.
The roll-out of the North Sydney program was made possible through a $200,000 grant provided by the NSW Government’s Office of Environment and Heritage.

For more information contact North Sydney Council on 9936 8100 or visit www.northsydney.nsw.gov.au.