10 Valentine Avenue, Parramatta, is the first building to benefit from an environmental upgrade under the NSW Government’s EUA financing mechanism.
The tenant, the State Property Authority, is contributing toward a major lighting upgrade expected to save $200,000 a year through a 60 per cent reduction in energy consumption.
“This landmark agreement will demonstrate how green retrofits can boost green jobs, generate cost savings for both property owners and tenants, and improve the sustainability of our cities,” says the GBCA’s Executive Director of Advocacy, Robin Mellon.
An EUA is a tripartite agreement between a building owner, a local council and a finance provider. Under an EUA, a finance provider lends funds to a building owner for water, energy and other environmental upgrades. The financed amount is then levied as a special charge by the local council, which collects the repayments and pays the financial institution.
The EUA financing mechanism reduces the risk associated with lending for the financial institutions, as the council takes responsibility for the loan. The building owner has access to finance at a competitive rate and the ability to share the costs of the building improvements with tenants. In NSW, tenants benefit from occupying an improved building and their contributions to the environmental upgrade charge will be offset by the reduction in utility bills. In Victoria, tenants are only included in EUAs when they consent in writing. NSW doesn't require full support from tenants provided the investment leaves them no worse off.
“We also applaud City of Melbourne, through its Sustainable Melbourne Fund, the City of Sydney, Lake Macquarie and North Sydney councils for offering EUAs. All these local governments are members of the Green Building Council of Australia, and are demonstrating visionary government leadership,” Mr Mellon adds.
“We are confident this will be the first of many EUAs as tenants and building owners work together to unlock up to $2 billion in energy efficiency upgrades in the Sydney commercial property market alone.
“The NSW Government, Parramatta City Council and Australian Unity have demonstrated that partnership is truly the new leadership,” Mr Mellon concludes.
The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) is Australia’s leading authority on green buildings and communities. The GBCA was established in 2002 to develop a sustainable property industry in Australia and drive the adoption of green building practices. The GBCA has 700 member companies who work together to support the Council and its activities. The GBCA promotes green building programs, technologies, design practices and processes, and operates Australia’s only national voluntary comprehensive environmental rating system for buildings - Green Star. See: www.gbca.org.au