Plans for a sustainable Newcastle

In August, the City of Newcastle became the 6th council in Australia to offer environmental upgrade finance, joining Sydney, North Sydney, Parramatta and Lake Macquarie in NSW and Melbourne in Victoria, in a 12 month Environmental Upgrade Agreement (EUA) pilot program.

Under the new EUA program, buildings in the commercial and industrial sector in the Newcastle local government area will be revamped and ‘greened up’ thanks to the EUA, a three-way agreement between building owner, a finance provider and the council.

Non-residential building owners in the Newcastle area can now take advantage of the benefits of upgrading poorly performing buildings with low-risk finance for energy, water and other environmental improvements. The unique EUA allows building owners to draw a loan from finance providers for the environmental upgrade works, which are then repaid through the council’s rates system, and passed on to the finance provider until the loan is repaid.

For Newcastle, it’s an exciting step towards the city’s 2030 plan for best practice energy and water efficient buildings and infrastructure for the city.

Need for a greener Newcastle

The launch of the pilot program couldn’t come at a better time for Newcastle with a recent Property Council of Australia market report revealing the average Newcastle building being 30 years or older and a high percentage of low-grade building stock in need of urgent renewal.

This reinforces what is happening across other capital cities such as Melbourne where there is currently $2 billion of retrofit activity due to take place as existing office building stock identified by the City’s internal award winning Sustainable Buildings Program nears end-of-life.

With two thirds of Newcastle’s building stock either commercial office space or industrial, the timing for the environmental upgrades is at its peak.

The pilot program will be delivered in collaboration with Lake Macquarie Council and is supported by the NSW Government’s Climate Change Fund.

More information on Newcastle’s EUA program.

 

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