The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has financed more than 1000 specialist energy efficiency projects undertaken by a broad range of small businesses, topping $150 million in CEFC investment.
The projects are reducing business energy consumption, with the added benefit of lowering overall emissions.
CEFC head of portfolio management Paul Greenop said in four years, the CEFC’s specialist finance had been used by a wide variety of businesses to tackle energy consumption through installing energy efficient equipment and technologies.
Overall, the CEFC has committed $500 million to these specialised asset-financing programs, including with Westpac, NAB and Commonwealth Bank.
The programs target small businesses, manufacturers and agribusinesses, as well as small-scale commercial property, to support investment in energy efficiency projects.
The Australian National Energy Productivity Plan (NEPP) is targeting a 40 per cent improvement in Australia’s energy productivity by 2030, with energy efficiency helping to deliver at least one quarter of the emission reductions needed to meet Australia’s international commitments to 2030.
“By working with major banks, we’re broadening our reach across the Australian economy and making it easier for small businesses to tap into the benefits of energy efficiency, whether they are seeking loans of $10,000 or $5 million or anywhere in between,” Mr Greenop said.
“The programs mean businesses can go to their regular financial provider to get access to the discounted finance for eligible energy efficient equipment.
“It’s a win-win for businesses. They’re investing in equipment that will improve their day-to-day operations and reducing their energy consumption, and they’re financing this equipment at lower rates than they would otherwise have been offered for general asset finance.”
Mr Greenop said the average loan size from businesses looking to borrow through CEFC-backed programs was around $150,000.
“Clean energy asset finance can make a big impact on the operations of businesses which have made the switch to more productive and energy efficient equipment and processes, typically reducing energy costs by 10 to 20 per cent,” Mr Greenop said.
“When organisations look at cutting energy costs, they tend to initially think about lighting upgrades, and upgrades to air conditioning, but the possibilities are far greater.
“We’re also seeing major investment to upgrade energy intensive manufacturing and agricultural equipment, as well as solid investment in more efficient light vehicles and rooftop solar PV.”
Mr Greenop said businesses looking for ways of financing energy efficient equipment, rooftop solar, low-emissions vehicles and even energy-from-waste technologies had several CEFC options available to them including the Commonwealth Bank Energy Efficient Equipment Finance Program; the Westpac Energy Efficient Financing Program; and the NAB Energy Efficient Bonus Program.