Your Guide to EUAs

Guide to EUAs Index

1 - What's special about these loans?

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EUAs provide a range of benefits for building owners. Under an EUA, a building owner can get:

  • Up to 100% project finance, with no upfront capital required
  • Lower fixed interest rates than are normally available with standard commercial loans
  • Access to funding without the need for large amounts of upfront equity, which significantly improves cash flow
  • Longer loan terms that match environmental building upgrade payback periods (up to 15 years).

Additional benefits include:

  • Depending on your circumstances, the finance may have no impact on existing credit lines and banking relationships
  • Under certain circumstances, you can share the cost of the upgrade with your tenants, if the tenant enjoys savings from reduced energy or water costs. You can then use the tenant contributions to service the loan and significantly improve the return on investment. This only applies to tenants on gross lease arrangements
  • You can use the energy efficiency savings to repay the loan.

NOTE: The EUA loan terms, length and interest rate are negotiated between the finance provider and the building owner.

2 - Works that can be financed with an EUA

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If you are considering a building upgrade you will need to determine if the works will improve the energy, water or environmental efficiency or sustainability of the building.

Examples include:

  • Lighting upgrades
  • Building management system improvements
  • Installation of renewable energy (solar and wind)
  • Improvements to heating, ventilation and air-conditioning
  • Installation of water-saving equipment (rainwater harvesting systems, cooling towers, evaporative condensers, blackwater treatment system, toilet and urinal efficient-unit replacement and water fixtures)
  • Solar thermal heat installation
  • Glazing improvements
  • Boiler improvements and installation of energy-efficient fixtures
  • Lift motor upgrades
  • Improvements to energy efficiency of data centres and information and communication technology.

Talk to an EUA finance provider or Energy & Resource Management, Newcastle City Council to determine if your upgrade works are eligible for funding.

3 - What types of buildings are applicable?

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To be eligible for an EUA, your building must be an existing building used entirely or pre-dominantly for commercial, industrial or other non-residential purposes. The property must be rateable, not a strata-titled building and its use needs to fall into one of the following categories:

  • Offices
  • Industrial sites
  • Shopping complexes
  • Hotels, motels and service apartments
  • Restaurants
  • Education and community facilities
  • Aged-care facilities
  • Backpacker accommodation
  • Educational facilities.

4 - Who can enter into an EUA?

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Newcastle City Council will only consider entering into an EUA if the following criteria can be met:

  • The building is located within Council’s local government area
  • The building is not strata titled
  • You are the building owner
  • The building does not sit on Crown Land
  • There are no outstanding amounts (rates or other debts) payable to Newcastle City Council in respect of the property or its owner
  • There are no outstanding orders that have been issued in respect of the property, its owner or tenants
  • The property owner has an Australian business address or uses an Australian agent
  • The building upgrade works satisfy Council’s Property Development requirements
  • The building owner agrees to be bound by Council’s EUA Policy

Newcastle City Council's EUA Application Form and Policy contain additional information.

5 - Who provides EUA finance?

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EUA finance is currently provided by NAB, Bank Mecu and ANZ through partnerships with The Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Eureka Funds Management.

It is important that you contact one of these financial institutions if you are interested in securing building upgrade finance.

   logo-nab.gif    EUA_-_ANZ_logo_for_website_2_-_ECM-4383670.jpg    EUA_-_CEFC_logo_-_ECM-4383671.jpg      Eureka_Funds_Management_Logo.jpg


6 - Complete your Environmental Upgrade Agreement template

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All Environmental Upgrade Agreements use a NSW government approved Agreement template. This document is the legal agreement signed by the three parties: the building owner, Council and the lending body.

It sets out all the terms and conditions of the Agreement such as:

  • Amount and loan terms
  • Agreed repayment schedule
  • Verification that the works result in an environmental improvement, as provided by a suitably qualified expert
  • Specification of any estimated tenant contributions (including the full calculations as to how they are derived, as provided by a suitably qualified expert)
  • Any existing encumbrances on the building, provided in the form of a property title document
  • Any specific representations and warranties.

Please review the  Environmental Upgrade Agreement template. Through the process of preparing your completed Agreement template we are more than happy to liaise with you, your consultants and financier.

Once your application is received and approved the building owner, the finance provider and Newcastle City Council arranges for the Agreement signing.

With the EUA in place, Council puts the Environmental Upgrade Charge on the land. The finance provider makes available funds for the upgrades, and the regular agreed quarterly loan repayments are made by the building owner.

7 - Steps involved in an EUA

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The following steps have been provided to guide you through the process:

Step 1 Approach Newcastle City Council or an EUA finance provider to discuss potential project(s) and their eligibility.
Step 2 Obtain finance approval from an EUA finance provider.
Step 3 Determine if the upgrade works need to be approved by Council. If they do, secure the relevant Council Development Applications prior to submitting the EUA Application Form.
Step 4 Complete and submit Newcastle City Council's EUA Application Form.
Step 5 Council will then assess your application.
Step 6 If approved, pay the application processing fee refer Schedule of Fees and Charges (these fees cover Council’s administrative costs).
Step 7 You (building owner), the finance provider and Newcastle City Council then complete the Environmental Upgrade Agreement template and annexures.
Step 8 When the EUA Agreement is completed and signed by all three parties, the finance provider makes the funds available (to the building owner).
Step 9 Newcastle City Council places an Environmental Upgrade Charge on the land via the rates system and levies the charges to you, the building owner. These charges are then payable each quarter, to coincide with Council’s rates cycle.
Step 10 Council collects the Environmental Upgrade Charge from you via direct debit, and then forwards the loan repayment to the finance provider.
NOTE: The charge stays on the land until the loan is fully repaid.

If you have questions about any of these steps contact Energy & Resource Management in the Projects & Contracts Unit on 02 4974 2000 or via email at:

8 - Associated costs

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Loan payments

Lenders provide EUA finance for building upgrades with values of $200,000 or more. The EUA loan terms, length and interest rate are negotiated between the finance provider and the building owner. These loan terms are set out in an Agreement Repayment Schedule.

Council application and administration fees

In addition to the loan repayments the building owner is responsible for payment of an EUA Establishment Fee and quarterly Council service fees and charges. These are charged to recoup costs incurred by Council to enter into and administer loan repayments. Please refer to the Schedule of Fees and Charges.


This applies to Newcastle City Council's establishment fees and charges. The Environmental Upgrade Charge does not incur a GST liability.

9 - Ongoing commitments

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Newcastle City Council collects the agreed loan repayments via the standard rates process for the life of the EUA. These repayments are passed through to the lender. If the building owner defaults on these repayments Council has the ability to recover unpaid rates through its usual processes. These are detailed in the EUA Enforcement Procedure.

Every year the building owner must provide Council (and the tenant if contributions have been sought) with a yearly report, prepared by a suitably qualified professional, declaring the actual cost savings achieved in the reporting year versus estimated cost savings estimated for the period.  The format of the report is included as an annexure in the Agreement template. Where 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 the EUA the amounts left unpaid can be paid out, or can be transferred with the property.

Once the EUA loan is fully repaid, Council will confirm that there are no further obligations in relation to the EUA on the property.

10 - What is the impact on tenants?

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EUAs allow building owners to use any resulting savings in utility costs from the environmental upgrade works to recover a portion of the project costs from tenants.

Some building owners may seek contributions from their tenants towards the Environmental Upgrade Charge. The EUA legislation offers full tenant protection, ensuring this amount cannot exceed the savings the tenant would otherwise receive from reduced outgoings.

Before an EUA is entered in to, the building owner must provide an estimate of the cost savings their tenants can expect. This estimate must be prepared by a suitably qualified person using approved calculation methods.

An Environmental Upgrade Charge amount equal to or less than the calculated cost-saving estimates will appear on the tenant’s invoice issued by the building owner. This contribution must remain cost neutral for the tenant; for example, be 100% offset by a reduction in their energy and water bills.

Building owners will then report actual savings against the outlined estimates on an annual basis to the tenants and to Newcastle City Council. Should the difference be significant and the estimate no longer be reasonable, building owners will resubmit their cost saving estimates and review tenants’ contributions (Section 3.4 (d) EUA Template, 52N (2) EUA Regulations.

The EUA template requires the estimated cost savings (above which the owner cannot recover from a lessee) to be recalculated if the estimate is no longer accurate).

11 - Environmental Upgrade Agreement forms

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EUA Application Form (PDF)
Environmental Upgrade Agreement template (PDF)
EUA Enforcement Procedure (PDF)
EUA Schedule of Fees and Charges (PDF)

12 - Additional information

EUA Fact Sheet (PDF)
FAQ - General Questions (PDF)
FAQ - For Building Owners (PDF)
FAQ - For Tenants (PDF)
Case Study - 10 Valentine Ave, Parramatta (PDF)
Map of Newcastle LGA (PDF)

13 - Which Councils offer EUAs?

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Council Contact Email

Newcastle City Council

02 4974 2000
City of Sydney 02 9246 7843
Lake Macquarie City Council 02 4921 0333
North Sydney Council 02 9936 8100
Parramatta City Council 02 9806 5755
City of Melbourne 1300 432 044


14 - Who to contact?

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If you would like to discuss if your building upgrade is eligible or to find out more about EUAs specific to your needs please contact Energy & Resource Management in the Projects & Contracts Unit on 02 4974 2000 or via email at: