Environmental Upgrade Finance

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

Businesses in Hobsons Bay can access Environmental Upgrade Finance for projects that help them save money and improve their economic and environmental performance.

Environmental Upgrade Finance is a loan for building upgrade works, repaid quarterly via 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.

Council works with Better Building Finance (BBF) who assist with delivering this service to the business community.



How does it work?

Environmental Upgrade Finance involves a three-way agreement between the business owner, council, and lender, called an Environmental Upgrade Agreement (EUA). It provides an incentive for building owners to upgrade their infrastructure and improve the value of their property. 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 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 property and 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 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 an existing building. Popular projects include:

  • Solar PV systems and battery solutions.
  • Energy efficiency upgrades – such as lighting and control.
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
  • Green and cool roof installations.
  • Water efficiency and treatment systems.
  • Waste management.
  • Electric vehicle charging stations.


Contact Beter 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:

  • Upgrade is to existing buildings, located on rateable land within the council boundaries.
  • Upgrade project has measurable environmental benefits, such as energy, water or waste, or addresses other sustainability or climate change issues.
  • Property must be predominantly non-residential (such as commercial or industrial) and not be owned by a self-managed superannuation fund.
  • Must be up to date on all rates and charges due to Council.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have a look at a list of frequently asked questions here.

Case studies

Have a look at a selection of case studies here.




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

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

Click here to apply for Environmental Upgrade Finance.


More Information

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

Alternatively, contact the Sustainability team at Hobsons Bay City Council on 9932 1000 or sustainability@hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au