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  • Sean Rapley

Sustainable Fund Goes National

It is well known that increasing your property asset’s energy efficiency can increase your property asset’s value by making your property more attractive to tenants, reducing tenant turnover, and reducing your operating costs.

This year, the NSW government released an updated policy document, NSW Government Resource Efficiency Policy, stating revised minimum energy efficiency standards for commercial offices, leaving building owners at risk of losing a significant market opportunity. As outlined in the NSW Government Resource Efficiency Policy, commercial office buildings need to be able to achieve a 5 star NABERS office base building rating to be considered as a leasable asset.

Table 1 – NSW Government Minimum NABERS Energy Rating for Offices and Data Centres - NSW Government Resource Efficiency Policy, 2019.


In a timely initiative, Bank Australia has partnered with the Sustainable Australia Fund to bring the Environmental Upgrade Finance (EUF) model to New South Wales. Bank Australia has committing $200 million to financing environmental upgrades for businesses. An EUF can be used to fund improvements such as lighting upgrades, or air conditioning system upgrades, helping you increase the value of your property asset, and prevent it from becoming obsolete.

Environmental Upgrade Finance gives building owners the ability to fund 100% of environmental upgrade costs (including soft costs, such as consulting fees).

Some of the advantages of Environmental Upgrade Finance are:

  • EUFs are senior debt facilities, which have competitive interest rates.

  • Longer loan terms of up to 20 years to increase cashflow.

  • Debt is transferrable on future property sale, providing flexibility for alternative strategies of the property in the future.

  • Fixed repayments via council rates, providing cashflow certainty.

  • The tenants receive the benefits of environmental upgrades to your base building. Environmental Upgrade Finance provides the opportunity to share the cost of environmental upgrades with tenants via the council rates.

Figure 1: Environmental Upgrade Finance Model

Currently, the following local governments are accepting Energy Upgrade Finance applications in New South Wales:

  • Blacktown City Council

  • Parramatta City Council

  • City of North Sydney

  • City of Sydney

To maintain the value of your property, and to prevent early obsolescence, it is becoming essential for building owners to improve the environmental performance of their buildings. Sustainable Australia's Environmental Upgrade Funding now provides New South Wales property owners with the financial tools to meet the requirements of a carbon constrained future.

Rapley Consulting Engineers is passionate about improving existing building performance, and ensuring your existing buildings are made future proof. If you are seeking guidance on upgrading your existing building to meet the demands of the modern world, and future proof your property asset, please contact us.

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