It’s now easier for Victorian businesses to upgrade their buildings to be more energy efficient and sustainable, with new laws coming into effect this week.
Under new Environmental Upgrade Agreements, businesses can borrow money through an approved lender to pay for environmental upgrades to their building such as solar panels, double glazing and energy efficient lighting. Their local council will then collect the repayments through the rates system and pass them on to the lender.
This allows building owners and tenants to pay back the loan at a low rate, while benefiting from the lower costs of a more energy efficient building.
Previously only the City of Melbourne offered the council-based financing mechanism but it is now available to all Victorian local councils under the Local Government Legislation Amendment (Environmental Upgrade Agreements) Bill 2015, which came into effect on 1 November.
More information about Environmental Upgrade Agreements is available from the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources website (www.ecodev.vic.gov.au).
The Andrews Labor Government is committed to supporting businesses and households to improve energy efficiency, reduce their bills and create jobs.
The Labor Government is developing an Energy and Efficiency Productivity Strategy, which will establish a tangible work program aimed at improving energy affordability, create jobs, encourage investment in new energy technologies and build a sustainable economy.
The government is also strengthening the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target scheme to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 million tonnes over the next five years. The scheme supports more than 2,000 Victorian jobs and has helped thousands of households and businesses reduce their exposure to energy costs.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Energy and Resources, Lily D’Ambrosio
“Energy efficiency is one of the best ways for households and businesses to save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Improving Victoria’s energy efficiency also supports jobs and economic productivity.”
“Many businesses find it difficult to get finance for environmental upgrades. Through this scheme, the Andrews Labor Government is making it easier for business to obtain funding to improve the energy efficiency of their building.”
“We encourage all councils to consider the Environmental Upgrade Agreement scheme to promote energy efficient and sustainable buildings in their area.”