Environmental Upgrade Finance (EUF) & Building Upgrade Finance (BUF)

Environmental Upgrade Finance

EUF and BUF are Victorian and NSW council-based financing mechanisms enabling building owners, tenants and investors to better access long term finance for environmental upgrades, including LED lighting and solar energy, to existing commercial and non-residential buildings on attractive terms and paid off through local council rates.

Solar Panels on Roof Installed with EUFs

What is EUF and BUF?

The Sustainable Australia Fund works with local councils to offer finance to businesses and organisations looking to improve building/site energy efficiency and/or to install renewable energy. The Sustainable Australia Fund is a for-purpose company, created to unlock business cashflow and to encourage sustainability. Cherry Energy Solutions are a trusted partner of the Sustainable Australia Fund and have facilitated more EUF in Victoria than any other company.

The Basics

  • The building owner agrees to carry out environmental upgrade works.
  • The building owner, council and finance provider voluntarily enter into an EUF.
  • The finance provider agrees to advance funds for the environmental upgrade works.
  • The council collects repayments for the environmental upgrade works through the rates system and then passes the repayments on to the finance provider.
  • The building owner can ask tenants to contribute towards the cost of the upgrade through the savings achieved with the energy efficiency upgrade.

Building Owners & Landlords

Under EUF or BUF, a lender provides finance to a building owner using the land or building as security and the local council collects repayments through the rates system.

  • Security The use of the council rates system means that an EUF or BUF loan is prioritised over other debts attached to the land or building. The loan is therefore highly secure, making it possible to access capital at competitive rates over a longer period of time.
  • No Upfront Costs Upgrades can be made at zero upfront cost, with no payments for six months and lower monthly repayments than previous energy costs, resulting in dramatically improved cash flow.
  • Flexibility The EUF or BUF is tied to the property and does not increase the personal debt of the building owner. If the property is sold, the EUF/BUF charge may be transferred to the new owner.
  • Win-Win EUF and BUF provide a mechanism to address differing incentives between landlords and tenants. Landlords can share the costs of improving the building in agreement with tenants who will benefit from the funded works through reduced energy bills. Victorian Legislation requires tenant consent before this can occur.


The tenant stands to benefit from day one of their environmental upgrades.

Energy Efficiency Tenants can enjoy the benefits of a more comfortable, ambient and environmentally friendly tenancy with reduced operating costs and energy bills.

Win-Win If the tenant is asked to contribute money towards the EUF or BUF, they can simply redirect some of the money currently being spent on energy towards a better performing tenancy. They will remain cash flow positive as the loan repayments will be lower than the energy savings.

Local Councils

EUF and BUF can be used by councils to encourage business owners to increase the performance of their building and to save water, energy and greenhouse gas emissions. The council’s role is to levy the EUF/BUF loan repayments through the council charge system (rates) and remit that payment to the finance provider.

  • Reduced Environmental Impacts Upgraded buildings attract investment, reduce environmental impacts, reduce pressure on infrastructure and increase the competitiveness and liveability of local building stock.
  • Opportunities Building upgrades can boost local jobs and business opportunities for efficiency products and services.

EUF advantages for Business

Upgrading buildings for greater energy efficiency is also a cost-effective way for businesses to:

  • Reduce operating costs by cutting energy bills
  • Reduce the risk associated with increasing energy costs
  • Increase renewable energy
  • Improve building value
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Improve working conditions

How can Cherry help you to make the most of the EUF/BUF scheme?

If your building is in an area eligible for EUF or BUF, we will present it as a financing option in the proposal/feasibility study for your energy efficiency upgrade.

Click here for councils offering EUF and BUF

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