Better commercial buildings

by Corporate Waste Solutions
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Through the Better Commercial Buildings program, Sustainability Victoria is offering funding to boost the performance of commercial buildings of up to $30,000 per building.

Who can benefit from the program?

Sustainability Victoria is calling for applications from commercial building owners, agents, tenants and facility managers in Victoria, keen to identify and implement energy efficiency upgrades that lead to an improvement in building performance. Commercial buildings can include offices, hotels, retail and data centres, and some mixed use buildings.

How to know if your building needs an energy efficiency upgrade?

Some indications that you need to upgrade your building energy efficiency are:

  • Your staff/tenants have their own heaters and desk fans to counteract changing temperatures in the building
  • Staff/tenants complain about the temperature and comfort of the office
  • You notice an increase in staff sick days year upon year
  • You have difficulty securing a long-term tenant, and
  • Your building doesn’t already have a NABERS rating.

If you are still unsure, the first phase of the program will include an energy audit that will identify and outline the potential opportunities and how they can benefit you.

What are the benefits of making your building more energy efficient?

Sustainability Victoria’s Energy Efficient Office Buildings report shows that improved building performance can lead to:

  • Savings in energy costs
  • Increased tenant satisfaction
  • Lower vacancy rates
  • Decreased tenant turnover
  • Reduced maintenance costs
  • Increased asset value
  • Increase rental returns
  • Improves occupant health and well-being
  • Reduced staff sick days, and
  • Improved occupant comfort

In addition, the Better Commercial Buildings program aims to help owners improve their building’s NABERS rating on average by 1 star.

What does the program provide?

This grant program provides matched funding assistance of up to $30,000 for commercial building owners to:

  • Conduct energy audits via a panel of pre-approved service providers
  • Implement energy efficiency upgrades of their choice, and
  • Measure and verify building efficiency improvement.

The program can also facilitate access to third-party finance to assist with upgrades.

How do I apply and what happens next?

The program involves a merit-based application process. Full details of the program are outlined within the registration form.

Once you have completed the registration form, SV will assess your application and let you know if you have been successful.

Following this you will be able to select a service provider from SV’s panel, or if you prefer to use your own contractor to deliver the project they need to apply to be included on the service provider panel in order for you to access grant funding.

The service provider will conduct an assessment and provide appropriate recommendations to improve the energy efficiency of your building.

Approved projects must be completed within 18 months of the funding agreement being signed. This includes a 12 month monitoring period post completion of upgrades.

If you are interested in becoming a service provider for the program, register at sustainability.vic.gov.au.

Image: Rudmer Zwerver © 123RF.com

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