Sustainable businesses

After staff costs, energy use can be one of the biggest expenses for small businesses.

Reducing energy use is a guaranteed way to improve the profitability, resilience and value of your small business.

Need advice?

Council has partnered with non-for-profit organisation the Australian Energy Foundation to provide you with energy advice you can trust. 

Advisors at the Australian Energy Foundation can help you work out exactly what you need to do to make your business energy-efficient and can connect you with reliable suppliers.

Discounts are available through the Victorian Energy Upgrades program for a range of energy efficiency upgrades including:
  • upgrading to reverse cycle air-conditioners
  • retrofitting LED Lighting
  • replacing inefficient gas hot water systems
  • installing energy efficient fridges, freezers, ventilation vents and motors and more.

Helpful resources

Green loans for business

Businesses in Stonnington can access low interest, long term loans to fund improvements to the environmental performance of buildings through energy, water and waste upgrades.

Popular projects funded include rooftop solar systems, energy efficiency upgrades and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems.

Environmental Upgrade Finance is a loan for building upgrade works, repaid quarterly via Council rates.

How does it work?

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.

Benefits for businesses

  • up to 100% project finance
  • zero upfront capital, no additional security requirements with repayments collected through Council rates
  • competitive interest rates fixed for up to 10 years or more, with reduced re-financing risk
  • improved cash flow, with lower annual repayments offset by energy cost savings, and
  • option to share costs between owners and tenants, delivering a better asset for the owner, and a lower cost and improved working environment for tenants.

Watch the video to learn more about how the program works.


What can be funded?

Finance can be used for any project that improves the energy, water, environmental efficiency, or overall sustainability of an existing building such as:

  • green and cool roof installations
  • solar systems, solar PV (photovoltaic) panels and battery solutions
  • energy efficiency upgrades, like automated lighting controls and power factor correction
  • heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems
  • waste management
  • water efficiency and treatment systems
  • electric vehicle charging stations.

If you have a project that isn't on the list, contact our Sustainability Programs team at Stonnington or go directly to the Better Building Finance website.


To qualify, applicants need to meet the eligibility criteria listed below as well as any credit criteria set by the lender:

  • upgrade is to existing buildings, located on rate-able land within the council boundaries
  • the project delivers a measurable environmental benefit, such as energy, water or waste, or addresses other sustainability or climate issues
  • the property must be non-residential (such as commercial or industrial)
  • the business and property must be up-to-date on all rates and charges due to Council.

How to apply?

Complete the online application form with the following details:

  1. the upgrade project and the business that is pursuing the project
  2. property ownership information, ABN/ACN if applicable, and authorised signatories
  3. information about mortgages, loans or leases that are secured against the property
  4. upload the following documents:
  • project proposal (from the contractor or installer)
  • Council rates notice
  • copy of property owner's ID.

Apply through online form

More information

If you require more information about Green Loans for Business, please contact our Sustainability Programs team at

Helpful resources