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Lake Macquarie businesses to benefit from new finance offer

28 May 2013

Commercial property owners in Lake Macquarie will discover how they can unlock the potential of their buildings at a luncheon to be hosted on Tuesday, 28 May, in Warners Bay.

Cr Jodie Harrison, Mayor of the City of Lake Macquarie, said the council supports environmental upgrade agreements which give local commercial property owners access to a low-risk financing option to help them make their buildings more sustainable.

"Lake Macquarie City is NSW's solar powerhouse for the second year running. This status indicates that the residents and businesses of Lake Macquarie are investing in sustainably powered solutions and reducing the mark we leave on the environment," Cr Jodie Harrison, Mayor of Lake Macquarie, said.

"More efficient energy use also means cost savings for businesses and the environmental upgrade agreement program is an effective way for businesses to achieve economic and environmental sustainability."

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation's Chief Operating Officer Meg McDonald, who will chair a panel of experts at the event, said that it would help property owners gain insights into how they could access finance to future-proof their buildings and realise ongoing savings on their energy costs.

The City of Lake Macquarie, North Sydney, City of Sydney and Parramatta City Councils are among those councils which now offer access to an innovative form of financing Environmental Upgrade Agreements (EUAs). Low Carbon Australia, which is being integrated into the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), pioneered EUA finance, co-partnering with Eureka Funds Management and NAB. This co-finance for EUAs will be continued under the CEFC.

Ms McDonald said that such agreements were reaping returns for property owners.

"For example, energy cost savings greater than 50 per cent have been created at a offices and hotel complex which was upgraded with better lighting, double glazing and the installation of a trigeneration plant," Ms McDonald said.

"An extensive lighting upgrade at a multi-story office block is saving tenants an estimated 70 per cent on the lighting component of the energy bills, while another 15-storey office block is making energy costs savings of about 30 per cent following improvements to heating, cooling, lighting and the building management systems," she said.

Ms McDonald said Environmental Upgrade Agreements, involving a building owner, financier and the local council, provide access to finance to cover the upfront costs of improving an existing building's performance both operationally and environmentally.

"This innovative finance is enabling building owners to transform their properties by improving their energy efficiency and strengthening their position in a clean energy future," she said.

The luncheon and panel discussion to promote the benefits of Environmental Upgrade Agreements which are now available in Lake Macquarie are being held in association with Lake Macquarie City Council.

Speakers will include Cr Jodie Harrison, Mayor of the City of Lake Macquarie and Kimberley Slow, Property Analyst, Investment Property Databank (IPD), Australia and New Zealand, who will deliver the keynote address.

The panel discussion involves David Blyth, Associate, Golder Associates, Patrick Dale, Director, Aeris Capital, Peter Dodds, Managing Director, Colliers International Newcastle and Eureka Funds Management Executive Director Niall McCarthy.

Media release, 2013

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