We’re helping local businesses unlock savings with Environmental Upgrade Finance

Businesses in the City of Greater Geelong can access Environmental Upgrade Finance for projects that reduce operational costs and improve sustainability.  


Environmental Upgrade Finance (EUF) is a loan for building upgrade works, repaid via quarterly council rates. A lender provides the upfront capital for the works, which the business then repays through the council rates system over periods of up to 20 years. Council then remits it back to the lender.

We have partnered with Better Building Finance to offer EUF to local businesses.


How it works

Watch this short video to find out more about how EUF can help businesses improve their economic and environmental performance.

EUF involves a three-way agreement between the business owner, council, and lender, called an Environmental Upgrade Agreement (EUA). It helps building owners to make upgrades that improve the value of their property and reduce their energy bills. If the property is leased the building owner can easily share the repayments with their tenants, allowing tenants to benefit from reduced operating costs, and owners to improve the value of their asset.  

The key features of EUF that make it different to traditional finance are:

  • Low interest, quarterly repayments made via a local council charge
  • Up to 100% project finance, including hard and soft costs
  • Loan terms can extend from 5 to 20 years to maximise business cashflow
  • Loans are tied to the building, not the business owner, making them easily transferrable if the building is sold
  • Landlords can split repayments with tenants, with both parties benefiting from the upgrade
  • No requirement for personal, business or other forms of security to be provided

Benefits to businesses

By using this finance to fund building upgrades, businesses can benefit from:

  • Reduced business operating costs
  • Positive cashflow outcome from project – often from year one
  • Security from volatile energy markets
  • Media and promotional opportunities
  • A better and healthier working environment
  • Environmental leadership in the community

What can be funded

Finance can be used to fund a broad range of upgrade works, such as solar, waste, and water projects. It just needs to improve the energy, water, environmental efficiency or overall sustainability of existing buildings. Popular projects include:

  • Solar systems, solar PV (photovoltaic) panels and battery solutions  
  • Energy efficiency upgrades such as lighting and controls
  • Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems
  • Green and cool roof installations
  • Water efficiency and treatment systems
  • Waste Management
  • Electric vehicle charging stations
  • Heritage upgrades (South Australia only)
While these are just some of the upgrades you can make using Environmental Upgrade Finance, it can be used for any project that has a positive environmental benefit. Get in contact with us or with Better Building Finance if you have a project that’s not on the list to find out if it qualifies.


To qualify, applicants need to meet the eligibility criteria listed below as well as any credit criteria set by the lender:

  • The upgrade is to existing buildings, located on rateable land within the council boundaries
  • The upgrade project has a measurable environmental benefit, such as energy, water or waste, or addresses other sustainability or climate change issues
  • The property must be predominantly non-residential (such as commercial or industrial) and not be owned by a self-managed superannuation fund
  • The property and/or property owner is not in the business of fossil fuels, live animal export, intensive farming, gambling, tobacco, or the arms industry
  • The business and property must be up to date on all rates and charges due to Council



As part of the application process the applicant will need to:

  • Provide details about the upgrade project and the business that is pursuing the project
  • Provide property ownership information, ABN/ACN if applicable, and authorised signatories
  • Provide information about mortgages, loans or leases that are secured against the property
  • Upload the following documents:
    Project proposal (from the contractor or installer)
    Council rates notice
    Copy of property owner’s ID

Apply for Environmental Upgrade Finance.


Frequently asked questions

Have a look at these frequently asked questions


More information

If you have any questions about Environmental Upgrade Finance or the application process, get in contact with Better Building Finance via:

Page last updated: Thursday, 16 November 2023