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It could pay for developers to consider solar panel installations in Sydney

5th Jul 2012

Savvy property investors know that green developments can be a profitable option worth considering - but thanks to a new initiative from the City of Sydney, they could offer even further opportunities for cost savings.

Under new draft guidelines released today as part of the Central Sydney Contributions Plan 2012, the City of Sydney has outlined a range of development criteria that could allow developers to apply for partial exemptions or waivers of the development contribution levy.

The one per cent levy was first introduced five years ago, and averages approximately $6 million in contributions every year. Funds from the levy, which applies to all development projects valued at more than $200,000 in the central Sydney area, are then used to support a variety of public works, including the refurbishment of Pitt Street Mall and the Kent Street Cycleway.

Among the sustainable measures that could help developers avoid the levy are the installation of solar panels and other green energy facilities, as well as facilities for cyclists, and tanks and greywater treatment so water can be re-used in garden spaces.

According to City of Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore, the incentive is designed to get developers thinking outside the square.

"Developers need to be innovative when designing for the future, and it's essential for them to consider sustainable initiatives such as green energy, water harvesting and active transport," she said.

Solar panels and other energy-saving measures are part of the initiatives set out in Sustainable Sydney 2030.

The draft Central Sydney Contributions Plan 2012 is currently on public exhibition at a number of venues throughout the City of Sydney and can also be viewed online. Public comments on the sustainable initiative will be accepted until August 2.

Saving money and generating solar electricity? That's an initiative I'm sure we can all get behind.

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