ecoinvestor.com.au June 2015

Property

Finance for Building and Energy Upgrades

Businesses that own property are among the winners from a new $120 million program that can help to significantly reduce energy costs in buildings.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is providing the capital through the National Australia Bank (NAB) to encourage businesses to cut their energy and operating costs and lift business performance.

Two key forms of assistance are with upgrades to heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems that can significantly cut energy use in buildings and improve their NABERS ratings; and conversion to solar energy such as rooftop solar PV, solar thermal and heat pumps for hot water, and solar PV to displace diesel generation.

There is also finance for industrial and commercial refrigeration upgrades that significantly cut energy use, including waste heat capture; for irrigation projects where newly installed motors and pumps use high efficiency engines and variable speed drives; for light and heavy vehicles with the highest fuel efficiency such as hybrid and electric vehicles and fuel switching equipment and processes; and for the introduction of new onsite distributed generation equipment such as biogas, bio-digesters and micro turbines.

NAB is making the CEFC's $120 million available to a broad range of commercial businesses undertaking small and large scale projects up to $5 million, with a particular emphasis on agribusiness and regional Australia. NAB is offering a rate 70 basis points below its standard equipment finance rate.

CEFC chief executive, Oliver Yates, said "Cutting energy costs has never been more important for Australian businesses. Australia spends more than $120 billion a year on energy – that's a 67 per cent increase over 10 years. With the right equipment, businesses can lower energy and operating costs, cut heating, cooling and lighting bills and even create energy from waste."

Another joint program, the CEFC-NAB Environmental Upgrade Agreement provides up to $80 million to help commercial property owners upgrade the energy efficiency of existing buildings.

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