Accessing EUA Finance
To access finance for the Environmental Upgrade Agreement (EUA) Scheme property owners must satisfy the requirements of the EUA Legislation as well as complete and sign a EUA Agreement.
Firstly check if your building is eligible for the Scheme. Agreements are available for existing, non-strata commercial buildings located in the Parramatta Local Government Area (LGA). This includes a range of buildings from the office, industrial, retail, hotel and other accommodation, medical, education and recreational industries.
The proposed upgrade works must be identified and documented as meeting these requirements by a suitably qualified professional of your choice. Please ensure that you have validated the credentials of the person carrying out this work as they will be required to be nominated in the signed Agreement.
The Council recommends that you seek professional advice to assess the status of your building, design any upgrades and develop your EUA documentation.
An energy audit is your first step towards understanding where energy costs in your building can be reduced. At the end of the audit you will be given a report that will detail where energy savings may be made, an estimation of the value of these energy savings, and an estimation of the capital costs and pay-back periods of any upgrades.
For a full list of eligibility requirements please consult the City of Parramatta Council EUA policy.
How to Apply
Complete the EUA Eligibility Check Form
The City of Parramatta Council has a simple EUA Eligibility Check Form. This form is used to ensure your proposed project meets all the requirements of the EUA Legislation and City of Parramatta's EUA Policy. Upon receipt we will be able to confirm in writing the eligibility of your building and upgrade project within seven working days.
Complete your Environmental Upgrade Agreement Template
All Environmental Upgrade Agreement financed projects must use the Government approved Environmental Upgrade Agreement Template. This document is the legal agreement signed by the three parties; the building owner, Council and lending body. It sets out all the terms and conditions of the Agreement such as the:
- The amount and terms of the loan
- The agreed repayment schedule
- Declaration that the works result in an environmental improvement
- Details of any estimated tenant contributions
- Any existing encumbrances on the building, provided in the form of a property title document.
We are more than happy to liaise with you, your consultants and financier.
The Council recommends that you seek professional advice to develop your documentation.
When your application is received and approved, the building owner, finance provider and City of Parramatta Council arrange for the Agreement to be signed. Once the Agreement is formally in place, Council puts the Environmental Upgrade Charge on the land. The finance provider makes funds available for the upgrades, and regular agreed quarterly loan repayments are made by the building owner.
Fees and Charges
Fees for the application and annual administration are paid as part of your first loan repayment. These are set out in the 2016 - 2017 City of Parramatta Fees and Charges.
City of Parramatta Council collects the agreed loan repayments (quarterly) via the standard rates process for the life of the EUA loan. These repayments are passed through to the lender.
If the building owner defaults on these repayments, the Council has the ability to recover unpaid rates through its usual processes. These are detailed in the Council’s EUA Enforcement Procedure.
Every year the building owner must provide Council and the tenant with a short yearly report declaring the actual cost savings achieved in the reporting year versus estimated cost savings estimated for the period. If there is a discrepancy between predicted and actual savings, these must be reconciled.
The Environmental Upgrade Charge stays with the property until the loan is fully repaid. If the building is sold during the life of loan, the amounts left unpaid can be paid out, or transferred with the property to the owner.
Once the EUA loan is fully repaid the Council will confirm that there are no further obligations on the property.
frequently asked Questions
Do I need Development Approval for my upgrade works?
It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all upgrade works comply with Council’s property development requirements. This may require a Development Application to be lodged. Please consult Council’s compliance requirements or discuss your proposed project with us.
Are my upgrade works eligible for Energy Savings Certificates?
When businesses invest in improving or replacing energy using equipment that reduces energy use, they can receive Energy Savings Certificates which have significant monetary value. For example, lighting upgrades receive a good return with the value of Energy Savings Certificates in many cases being able to provide for up to 20% of the total upgrade costs.
The Energy Savings Scheme is administered by the NSW Independent Pricing And Review Tribunal (IPART). More information about Energy Savings Certificates can be found on their website.
Can I seek contributions from my tenants?
Under the EUA legislation, building owners can ask tenants to contribute towards the cost of the upgrade works equal to the reduced energy or water costs they would enjoy a result of the upgrades. The tenant will never be worse off as they save as much as they contribute.
When using EUA finance, building owners do not have to seek contributions from their tenants if they don’t wish to or can seek only partial contributions.
Please note that not all lease types allow building owners to seek tenant contribution from their tenants, in particular:
- Where lease provisions require the tenant to pay council rates as part of their outgoings the building owner can increase the outgoing charge by the calculated contribution amount.
- If lease conditions do not require tenants to pay council’s charges, then unless new or amended lease conditions are negotiated, the building owner cannot require tenants to contribute to the EUA loan.
Do I have to tell my tenants?
Under the EUA legislation building owners do not have to obtain the consent of tenants to enter a EUA and request tenant contributions. Once an EUA is signed, a building owner is required to notify their tenants and provide them with a copy of their contribution amounts over the life of the loan.
Council recommends that it may be beneficial for the building owner to communicate with tenants of their intentions to upgrade the building and that tenant contributions will be sought. It should made clear to the tenant that the EUA legislation offers full tenant protection. Legally, tenant contributions levied by the landlord are not able to be more than the savings that tenants benefit from on energy bills. It will always be cost neutral for the tenant.
In addition, tenants will benefit from leasing an upgraded building with improved amenity. Once the loan is repaid, the tenant will stop paying contributions and just enjoy the savings from reduced energy and water bills.
When should I contact a lender?
Ideally this should be done as early in the planning process as possible once you have decided on the scope of your upgrade works and confirmed their eligibility. While you can use any bank to finance your project under a EUA, three banks have developed specialised EUA finance products including ANZ, Bank Australia and National Australia Bank.
You might also wish to seek financial, tax and legal advice about your project at this stage.