Environmental Upgrade Agreement

Businesses in the City of Whittlesea will soon be able to take advantage of a long-term, low-interest loan to help make their businesses more environmentally friendly thanks to a new program endorsed by Council at its meeting on 27 June.

The City of Whittlesea has partnered with Better Building Finance to offer local businesses access to finance that will enable them to undertake upgrades to reduce energy and water use providing savings on operating costs.

Chair Administrator Lydia Wilson said the Environmental Upgrade Agreement program was a fantastic opportunity for business who have been considering green upgrades.

“This program is designed specifically to help small to medium sized businesses and organisations fund works that will have a positive environmental impact and help businesses reduce their energy costs,” Ms. Wilson said.

“At a time when energy costs are increasing and business may still be recovering from the impacts of COVID-19, we’re excited to be able to offer local businesses access to these ‘green’ loans to help them create sustainable, long-term methods for cost reduction.”

The Environmental Upgrade Agreement program provides low-interest loans for environmental, sustainable and climate upgrade projects on existing buildings. The agreement will be between Council, the building owner and the financial lender, with the loan repayments billed on a quarterly basis.

“This program removes many of the typical barriers borrowers face, including the need for a deposit. Each application is also assessed to ensure that upgrades will contribute to positive cost outcomes – that is that savings can be realised quickly.”

“The loans are also available over a longer term than typical business finance, and costs and benefits can be shared between the building owner and tenant,” Ms. Wilson said.

“The City of Whittlesea is committed to strengthening the local economy by helping businesses become more sustainable and reduce their environmental footprint.”

Upgrades can include installation of solar panels, electric vehicle charging stations, water efficiency initiatives, replacing lighting and more.

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