Businesses have a new line of low-cost, long-term finance for sustainability projects thanks to a $200 million partnership between the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Westpac.

The discounted finance at 0.70 per cent below the standard interest rate can be used for up to 100 per cent of cost for terms of up to 10 years on projects worth over $15,000. Eligible projects include:

  • rooftop and off-grid solar PV
  • battery storage and solar thermal
  • energy efficiency equipment
  • low emissions vehicles
  • energy efficient building upgrades
  • energy-from-waste projects
  • projects registered for Australian Carbon Credit Units under the Emissions Reduction Fund

“Westpac is committed to helping make Australian businesses stronger and we recognise the opportunities that come with investment in energy efficiency, both in terms of lower costs for business and better environmental outcomes,” Westpac general manager, commercial Alastair Welsh said.

“This is an opportunity for our customers to improve their use of energy and also help lower energy costs, as well as access discounted lending rates supported by the CEFC’s financing commitment.”

As part of the Westpac Energy Efficient Financing Program, the bank is also offering specialist advice in relation to design and procurement through the engagement of engineering services and renewable energy company Verdia.

“This is an end-to-end solution that includes Verdia helping businesses with designing an effective project, procuring high quality equipment and assisting with ongoing asset management,” Mr Welsh said.

“Westpac and Verdia will work with customers to design, deliver and finance everything from single-site to large, multi-site energy efficiency and distributed energy programs.”

CEFC chief executive Oliver Yates said the discounted finance was a compelling reason to lock in projects that would lead to business and environmental benefits.

“There are enormous opportunities for businesses to lower their energy costs and improve their competitiveness using clean energy. Using solar and the right energy efficient equipment can have a substantial benefit on business costs, in addition to the obvious environmental gains,” Mr Yates said.

“We are also encouraging businesses to look carefully at their vehicles and to switch to lower emissions options for their fleets in particular.”

The CEFC points to ClimateWorks research finding best practice light vehicle standards could reduce light vehicle emissions by 100 million tonnes between 2020 and 2030. It also found improving commercial building energy efficiency could cut annual emission by 23 million tonnes while saving $2.3 billion a year.

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