Building Upgrade Finance


We're helping local businesses unlock savings.

Businesses can access Building Upgrade Finance for projects that help them save money and improve their economic and environmental performance.

Building Upgrade Finance is a loan for building upgrade works, repaid quarterly alongside Council rates. A lender provides the upfront capital for the works, which the business then repays alongside their quarterly Council rates over periods of up to 20 years.

Watch a short video on Building Upgrade Finance to find out more.

How does it work?

Building Upgrade Finance involves a three-way agreement between the business owner, Council, and lender, called an Environmental Upgrade Agreement (EUA). These are standard documents provided by the NSW Government under the Local Government Act 1993. 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 that make this program different to traditional finance are:

  • Fixed terms for 15 years, rate is reset every 5 years
  • Quarterly repayments made to Council  
  • 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 property and 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 need for personal, business, or other forms of security to be provided.

Sustainable Australia Fund offers flexible green loans with competitive interest rates for solar PV systems and other sustainable upgrades to existing commercial buildings*. If your business wants to do a building upgrade you may have access to government enabled finance. Environmental Upgrade Finance has low fixed and variable rate interest periods, with long loan terms that gives you access to the capital you need to unlock savings and make your building more sustainable. Repayments are made through your local council, over terms up to 20 years, meaning your business could be cash-flow positive from day one.

Benefits to Lane Cove businesses:

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

What can be funded?

Finance is used to fund a broad range of upgrade works, such as solar, waste and water projects. The project needs to improve the energy, water, environmental efficiency, or overall sustainability of an existing building. Popular projects include:

  • Solar systems, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and battery solutions
  • Energy efficiency upgrades – such as lighting and control
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems
  • Green and cool roof installations
  • Water efficiency and treatment systems
  • Waste management
  • Electric vehicle charging stations
  • Heritage upgrades.

Environmental Upgrade Finance can be used for almost any initiative that has a positive environmental benefit. Get in contact with a participating lender if you have a project that's not on the list to find out if it qualifies.

Who is eligible?

Applicants need to meet the eligibility criteria listed below as well as any credit criteria set by the lender:

  • The upgrade is to existing buildings, located on rateable land within the Council boundaries.
  • The project has a measurable environmental benefit; such as energy, water or waste, or addresses other sustainability or climate change issues.
  • The property must be predominantly non-residential (such as commercial or industrial) and not be owned by a self-managed superannuation fund.
  • The property and/or property owner is not in the business of fossil fuels, live animal export, intensive farming, gambling, tobacco, or the arms industry.
  • The business and property must be up to date on all rates and charges due to Council.

Application Process

As part of the application process the applicant will need to:

  • Provide details about the upgrade project, the business that is pursuing the project, and that they are obtaining formal Development Approval where necessary
  • Provide property ownership information, including ABN/ACN if applicable, and details of authorised signatories
  • Provide information about existing mortgages, loans or leases that are secured against the property
  • Upload the following documents:
  • Project proposal from the contractor or installer
  • Council rates notice
  • Copy of property owner's ID.

Council has engaged Better Building Finance to facilitate the application approval, processing and loan administration processes. If you have any questions about Environmental Upgrade Finance or the application process get in contact with the team at Better Building Finance.


Have a look at these frequently asked questions.

Case Studies


Small light industrial


Transport & logistics

Aged care and residential community

Small dental clinic

Manufacturing and recycling business



The Sustainable Australia Fund is the only provider currently operating in the NSW market, but you can see all up-to-date information at the Building Upgrade Finance shared site.