7 building upgrades that save serious cash

Upgrade finance can fund more than just solar panels. Learn about making your building more energy efficient and save money from day one with Upgrade Fund.  

Upgrade Fund is a unique finance solution that can be used to make existing buildings more efficientThis not only reduces carbon emissions; it saves businesses some serious cash. Using Upgrade Fund means the upgrades are usually cashflow positive from install (where savings exceed repayments) and $0 up front terms means businesses don’t have to dip into their savings to get started immediately 

What building upgrades qualify 

Our trusted installation partners can project the benefit of an upgrade over time. They’ll be able to tell you both the financial savings and the carbon emission reductions of your upgrade as part of the quoting process. 

This way, you can determine whether you can take advantage of our long-term and cashflow positive loan terms to install HVAC, replace lighting with LEDs, upgrade your roof and more. 

Anything that improves the efficiency of a building can be funded, so the list of possible upgrades is endless. Here are just 7 ways Upgrade Fund can help you save money through building upgrades: 


HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems are generally power hungry, especially in hot Australian summers. If your system is more than 10 years old or contains a refrigerant that’s being phased out, a newer unit could be 20-40% more efficient than your existing unit. Upgrading to an energy efficient HVAC system can reduce energy bills while cutting carbon emissionswhich means it can qualify for financing through Upgrade Fund if the business fulfils all other eligibility criteria 

LED lighting 

Replacing existing lights with LEDs is one of the quickest and easiest upgrades you can make and could reduce your lighting costs by up to 84%LED lights last over 50,000 hours and can even improve OH&S conditions by creating a brighter and safer working environment.  

Window replacement and glazing 

Proper building insulation can eliminate up to 80% of heating and cooling losses. Double or triple glazed windows are one insulation option to reduce heat gain or loss by up to 30%. If you don’t want to replace all of the existing windows in a building, secondary glazing or films can provide a cost-effective insulation option. This involves retrofitting existing windows with pane of tinted glass, toned glass, or a reflective coating to reduce heat transfer.  

Roof replacement 

When you think about improving energy efficiency of a buildingyou might not think immediately of the roof. However, the roof of a building is often a huge surface area that can absorb heat, increasing reliance on internal coolingInstalling a green roof or cool roof can stop heat before it enters the building, helping to maintain a more moderate temperature during summer. A green roof uses planting and vegetation to absorb heat before it reaches the inside of the building, while a cool roof uses reflective materials to reflect sunlight and heat back into the atmosphereIf a roof contains asbestos and needs to be replaced, consider a cool roof or green roof for long term savings and to take advantage of Upgrade Fund’s cashflow positive finance solutions 

Waste management 

Data from the ABS shows that Australia generated 78 million tonnes of waste in 2018-19and around half of this waste was recycled. Businesses and operations that produce waste can often use waste reduction and recycling technologies to save moneyIt’s not just out-of-the-box solutions that can be funded either, but innovative new waste management systems. For example, Booth Transport funded a giant worm farm using Upgrade Fund to treat dairy waste water, which recycles 121,000 kilolitres of water back into the irrigation system. 


Thousands of commercial buildings around Australia may be unsafe due to combustible cladding and business owners may be required to replace their cladding to be compliant. In fact, fixing the combustible cladding issue around Australia is expected to cost over $6.2 billionIf your building requires compliant cladding and you’re undertaking other upgrade works with an environmental benefit, Upgrade Fund can be a fast and easy way of securing finance. At this stage only non-residential properties can use Upgrade Fund to undertake re-cladding work.  

Water efficiency 

According to the Water Services Association of Australia, agricultural businesses account for 65% of water consumption across Australia, and we’ve worked with clients across the agriculture, commercial and industrial sectors to find innovative solutions to save both water and money. Water efficiency measures such as rainwater systems, upgrading appliances and fixtures can see dramatic reductions to business overheads.  

How do I get started? 

Get in touch with us today to discuss your project and eligibility criteria for Upgrade Fund. Sustainable Australia Fund’s minimum finance amount is $15,000 and we can fund projects up to $20 million.  

Have something else in mind that’s not on the list? Talk to us about your project idea and we can tell you if it’s likely to qualify.  


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