Overview of financing for office upgrades

What kinds of green finance exist ?

Office tenants have many options to help pay for auditing, planning and implementation of energy efficiency activities including new equipment, retrofits, lighting and general office upgrades.

Benefits of green financing

Whilst fitting and equipment upgrades are a tenant obligation, major office upgrades or adjustments to building services may require a negotiation with the landlord or building manager to establish potential contributions or shared obligations.

High-impact efficiency measures identified by auditing and planning may require capital expense that will require a business case. Financing options can improve the business case for up-front investment or make use of operational rather than up-front capital.

How to access finance

There are three major types of finance options:

  • Loans and leases are ways to access the capital for investment that is then paid off in part by the savings in energy bills. In addition to traditional equipment leases (which now include lighting and plant options), there are now relatively new loan models tailored to efficiency upgrades that were developed in Australia to share the costs and benefits of retrofits between building owners and tenants.
  • Grants are available from both Federal and State agencies. Along with grants tailored to sustainability and efficiency, there are some more general industry and business development grants that CitySwitch signatories may find useful.
  • Certificate Schemes are running in NSW and Victoria. These schemes create additional income from certain types of accredited efficiency measures. Certificates help these states meet mandatory energy efficiency targets.


Related resources

Financing your project

Undertaking energy efficient upgrades or installing renewable energy makes good business sense and helps offset rising electricity and gas prices. Choosing the right finance for projects can sometimes be challenging. This guide will help you understand the different financial options available as well as step-by-step guidance in selecting the best finance for your business.

Energy efficiency certification scheme

This certification scheme offered by the Energy Efficiency Council certifies professionals that can lead comprehensive energy retrofits of commercial buildings. Certification helps building owners and managers find professionals they can trust and provides a benchmark for energy efficiency professionals.

Claiming Energy Savings Certificates ('Eskis')'

NSW businesses can improve the rate of return on investment for projects by claiming Energy Savings Certificates (aka 'Eskis') which are redeemable for cash based using NABERS ratings as evidence of savings.

Data centre energy audit subsidies

The NSW Energy Saver program is offering eligible businesses a 50% subsidy for Data Centre Energy audits when combined with a NABERS Data Centre rating to help businesses identify opportunities for improvement and cost savings.

Energy Smart Finance

This equipment leasing program by Low Carbon Australian allows businesses to invest energy efficient technology to future-proof against rising energy costs while reducing carbon emissions. It is operated through accredited vendors.

Sustainable Melbourne Fund

A fund for improving Melbourne buildings established by Melbourne City Council. The Fund provides up to 100% loan finance for building retrofit projects or for innovative technologies that deliver wider environmental benefits.

Grants and Assistance Finder

Commonwealth and State/Territory government grant programs available to support the investigation and implementation of energy efficiency projects. Be sure to check eligibility requirements and funding guideslines, which can differ significantly across programs and jurisdictions.

NSW Energy Saver Program

The Energy Saver program, by NSW Office of Environment and Heritage provides a single point of energy efficiency support for NSW businesses, helping organisations reduce energy consumption and costs. There are subsidies available for action plans and implementation.

CitySwitch NABERS Energy Grant program

Join CitySwitch and get financial assistance to help combat rising energy bills by assessing and managing your office energy use. Funding is offer for a limited time to assist businesses most capital cities with documenting their energy baseline.

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