Lake Macquarie business first to use Building Upgrade Finance for sustainable building

Lake Macquarie business first to use Building Upgrade Finance for sustainable building

With the help of Better Building Finance, ATUNE’s $13 million health centre in Cardiff South is the first project funded in regional NSW – showcasing how commercial building owners can achieve environmentally-friendly upgrades thanks to the new loan program.

Manager Environmental Systems, Karen Partington said Lake Macquarie was one of six council areas supporting Building Upgrade Finance in NSW through the use of Environmental Upgrade Agreements.

“Whether it’s installing solar panels and electric vehicle charging stations, promoting water efficiency initiatives, replacing lighting or making other sustainability-driven improvements, Council’s involvement in the program helps businesses such as ATUNE reduce energy costs, support economic development and achieve sustainability goals,” Karen said.

“If we can deliver a loan to help businesses move faster toward better environmental outcomes, then we are all for it.

“This program will streamline the process for significant modifications and upgrades to buildings across Lake Macquarie. That equates to dollars saved through cheaper energy, and flow-on environmental benefits.”

ATUNE Health Centres Founder and CEO, Simon Ashley said the program has enabled its new facility to substantially upgrade its environmental footprint.

“This program is a win, win. Decreasing costs in excess of $30,000 a year whilst facilitating sustainable business that benefits the environment,” Simon said.

Better Building Finance’s NSW Program Adviser, Robin Mellon said he was delighted to see ATUNE looking at the broader picture.

“ATUNE are not just focusing on the pool pumps, heater, solar or plumbing, but upgrading all of those elements to make a more sustainable facility that will be much more cost-effective to operate, delivering better outcomes for the business and their patients,” Robin said.

“This project is another great example of how Building Upgrade Finance has evolved over the last decade, maturing from a mechanism used mostly for large, urban, commercial office projects to a catalyst for sustainability upgrades for small, diverse building upgrades.

“As well as this healthcare project we’ve been working with dental clinics, worm farm water systems, local supermarkets, distilleries, cafes and restaurants – the types of business found in every council area across NSW.”

Building Upgrade Finance is a loan for building upgrade works, repaid quarterly via council rates. A lender provides the upfront capital for the works, which the business then repays through the council rates system over periods of up to 20 years.

Council then remits it back to the lender. Council’s involvement means businesses can upgrade buildings sooner all while accessing affordable finance terms and savings along the way.

IMAGE | Solar panels installed at ATUNE in Cardiff South.

Lake Macquarie City Council

Lake Macquarie is the fastest growing city in the Hunter, and one of the largest cities in New South Wales. Lake Macquarie Council is the Local Government area comprising of the town centres of Belmont, Cardiff, Charlestown, Glendale, Morisset, Mount Hutton, Swansea, Toronto and Warners Bay.

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