Jilly Gibson

5 December 2012 —North Sydney Council is the next NSW council to introduce an Environmental Upgrade Agreement program to provide property owners of ageing buildings with finance to upgrade their assets 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 strong 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,” she said.

Cr Gibson said benefits of taking part in the EUA program included:

  • 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.

In Australia just four councils offer the program including North Sydney and the cities of Sydney, Parramatta and Melbourne.

  • See a copy of our EUA ebook here.

Meanwhile, the NSW Government is funding feasibility studies in Wollongong, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Penrith councils to help establish EUAs.

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.