General

Who is Better Building Finance?

Better Building Finance (BBF) is an independent, expert advisor and the main source for information on Environmental Upgrade Finance (EUF); created in partnership with the Federal Government. Find out more.

What does Better Building Finance do?

We work with building owners, business tenants and service providers to help them access low cost funding for environmental upgrades. Find out more.

What is an environmental upgrade agreement?

An EUF, otherwise known as Environmental Upgrade Agreements (EUA), is an innovative form of finance that allows building owners to go solar, or increase their building’s energy efficiency through low cost loans. Find out more.

What is the difference between Environmental Upgrade Finance and an Environmental Upgrade Agreement?

Both terms refer to the finance agreement between building owner, council and lender that aims to make environmental upgrades possible to existing buildings. Find out more.

How does it work?

  1. Talk to the Better Building Finance team.
  2. We will provide advice on what environmental improvements you can make and suggestions for what you may not have considered.
  3. We will negotiate with local council and your building owner (if applicable), on your behalf; navigating arrangements so your building can go green.
  4. You get funded – with no upfront capital cost or additional security requirements.
  5. Your repayments are made directly to the council, through your rates.
  6. You see the savings.

Talk to us for more information.

Who is eligible for Environmental Upgrade Finance?

To be eligible for an Environmental Upgrade Finance (EUF) you must be living within a participating council municipality. Not all councils offer EUF, to see if your council does, try our map function here or talk to a member of the Better Building Finance team.

Who is the money borrowed from?

Environmental finance is borrowed from a participating funding partner. Check out our partners’ page to see who offers this type of finance.

What are the benefits?

  1. Zero upfront capital and no additional security requirements.
  2. Competitive interest rates fixed for up to 10 years or more, with reduced re-financing risk.
  3. Improved cash flow, with lower annual repayments offset by energy cost savings.
  4. Option to share costs, delivering a better asset for the owner, and a lower-cost and improved working environment for tenants.

How do I know if it’s available to me?

To access Environmental Upgrade Finance (EUF) you must be living within a participating council municipality. To see if your council offers environmental upgrade agreements visit the participating councils section of our ‘who we are’ page, or talk to us.

What are the fees?

You will be required to pay an administrative fee, which can be included in the overall finance amount. Fees vary based on council area, to find out how much you would pay. Talk to us.

For landlords

How do I apply for Environmental Upgrade Finance?

If you want to go solar, or have found a way to increase your building’s energy efficiency and would like to apply for an environmental upgrade agreement (EUA), you can do so by contacting us.

What assessments do I need to undertake prior to signing for Environmental Upgrade Finance?

If the works involve upgrades to improve energy efficiency or increase renewable energy, you will be required to undertake an energy assessment. To find out what assessment you need to undertake, based on your states requirements, talk to us.

What are my reporting obligations?

Building owners in New South Wales are obliged to report to the council and finance provider on the commencement and completion of works, as well as annual reviews to the council and tenant on environmental performance. For building owners in Victoria, Better Building Finance may request updates on your projects performance from time to time. Talk to us to find out more. Talk to us to find out more.

How do I make repayments?

Repayments are made directly to your council through your rates. The council will then make repayments to the finance provider. Talk to us to find out more.

What if I make a late payment?

If you make a late payment you will be required to pay penalty interest. Talk to us to find out more.

What if I default on my payments?

If you default on a payment, your council will work to recover the charge to repay the finance provider. You will be charged penalty interest and may be subject to legal proceedings in circumstances where the repayment cannot be recovered. The repayment will be prioritised over any other non-council charges or encumbrances over the land.

Can I recover any of the costs of the environmental upgrade works from my tenant(s)?

Recovering costs of the environmental upgrade works from your tenant varies by state. To find out if you can pass the cost through to the tenant talk to us for more information.

What if a tenant defaults and the rent is outstanding?

Your obligation, as building owner, to make repayments remains regardless of whether a tenant defaults. Your rights against the defaulting tenant would be determined by the terms of the particular lease. Talk to us for more information.

What if I want to sell or buy a building that has had Environmental Upgrade Finance applied to it?

You must get the consent of the finance provider and the council to any sale or dealing in the land (other than leases). In some circumstances it is possible that consent may be refused. In this case, you can choose to pay out the remaining finance amount in order to proceed with the proposed dealing. If you want to assign your obligations under the agreement, the purchaser would need to sign a deed poll agreeing to be bound by the terms of environmental upgrade agreement. To find out more, talk to us.

What if I want to convert a building to a type that can’t have Environmental Upgrade Finance?

If the finance has already been applied to the building, the repayments will still remain on the land until it is paid. If the conversion involves a dealing or subdivision of the land you will need the consent of the other parties.

Frequently Asked Questions

For tenants

How do I apply for Environmental Upgrade Finance?

If you want to go solar, or have found a way to increase your building’s energy efficiency and would like to apply for Environmental Upgrade Finance (EUF), you can do so by talking to us. We will help you to negotiate the arrangement with your building owner and local council.

Am I a party to the Environmental Upgrade Finance?

No, you’re not a party to the Environmental Upgrade Finance.

If my landlord wants to obtain Environmental Upgrade Finance, do I have to contribute to repayments?

Mandatory repayments vary based on state. To find out if you are required to contribute to repayments call us on 1300 432 044 or talk to us for more information.

If I want to sign a new lease for a building with Environmental Upgrade Finance, what information does the owner need to provide me?

New tenants must be given notice of the agreement, the charge and any liability for contributions prior to execution of the lease or occupation of the building. This may vary by state, talk to us for more information.

What do I need to know before I sign a new lease for a building with Environmental Upgrade Finance?

You should find out:

  • What environmental upgrade works were proposed and whether or not they have been completed.
  • Whether you will be liable for costs of the upgrade works.
  • How those costs were calculated to confirm that you are not being asked to contribute more than a reasonable amount.

If you’re unsure, talk to us for more information.

What if I am about to vacate a building with an environmental upgrade charge?

Depending on the terms of your lease, you would only have obligations to contribute to payments whilst you are a current tenant of the building and will have no obligation to make contributions beyond this. If you’re unsure, talk to us for more information.