Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has today launched a Property Sustainability Upgrade Loan for new and existing business customers.
The new 'Upgrade Loan' aims to enable Australian businesses to reduce the environmental impact of commercial properties, and reduce operating costs.
The "zero margin offer" will allow eligible businesses to increase their Commercial Property Investment Loan by up to 20%.
CBA's Executive General Manager for Business Lending, Clare Morgan, said that both new and existing customers would be eligible for the loan.
"Sustainability upgrades can significantly reduce a property's carbon footprint while improving energy and water efficiency," Ms Morgan said.
"We are offering the ability to borrow up to an additional 20%, with zero line fees and no establishment fee through these loans."
Eligible customers can use their Property Sustainability Upgrade Loan for the following upgrades:
- Energy efficient lighting
- Eco and smart building management systems
- Energy efficient lifts and escalators
- Solar panels and battery storage
- Heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrades
- Water recycling systems
- Cladding and insulation upgrades
- Fenestration efficiency upgrades
CBA worked with the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS), to develop the loan eligibility criteria.
They aim is for businesses to reduce their emissions by at least 30% and meet or exceed average market performance according to CBA.
"With over 60% of commercial office buildings currently having a NABERS energy rating below 5 stars this loan has great potential for buildings to make important energy efficiency upgrades," said Magali Wardle, NABERS' head of market development.
"We encourage new and existing customers to speak with us and see if a sustainability upgrade might be right for them.
"Depending on their situation and location, new green credentials could also make them eligible for other incentives like the federal government’s instant asset write off or various state-based energy upgrade schemes."
However, CBA's new offering appears to be one of the first targeted at small businesses.
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