The cost of retrofitting existing buildings to make them more energy efficient can be tough for some businesses to bear. A solution lies in a State government initiative involving building owners, finance providers and Council entering into voluntary Environmental Upgrade Agreements (EUAs).
An EUA is a voluntary agreement between a building owner, a finance provider and a local Council where a building owner agrees to carry out environmental upgrades and a finance provider agrees to advance the funds needed for the works to the building owner. The funds are repaid through charges on the relevant land that the Council levies the building owner for.
The City identified some risks associated with the process and has taken steps to largely mitigate them. At no stage will the City be liable for the repayment of any unpaid funds to the finance provider.
Given the complex legal and financial nature of this new initiative, staff have recommended a staged roll-out of the program. Under this staged roll-out, the City would enter into 10 EUAs this financial year, limiting them to commercial buildings that are not subject to a strata scheme. Should these EUAs prove successful the City will consider expanding the program to include both residential and commercial strata buildings.
On Monday night Council will decide whether to adopt the scheme at the City.