Intellihub Group, a subsidiary of Pacific Equity Partners (PEP), has finalised a $1.45 billion five-year loan to fund the installation of smart metering in homes across Australia and New Zealand.
Smart meters have a key role to play in Australia’s renewable energy transition, enabling distributed energy resources like rooftop solar, batteries and electric vehicles.
It is the first loan ever to be certified under the Climate Bonds Initiative’s (CBI) Electrical Grids and Storage category, with ANZ acting as coordinator for an international consortium of bank lenders — BNP, Crédit Agricole, MUFG, NAB, SMBC and Société Générale.
Terms for the loan have been set at “investment grade” levels due in part to its green certification, which requires ??Intellihub to prepare annual reports demonstrating the funds are being used for products that support climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience.
PEP managing director, Evan Hattersley, described green loans as “a win-win for companies and communities”.
“We are pleased with the support Intellihub has received from the banking market and the formal recognition of its green credentials, which will allow it to access additional sources of green-linked financial capital,” he said.
Intellihub already operates a market-leading portfolio of over one million smart electricity meters in Australia which it rents out to energy retailers, with a further 1.7 million in the deployment pipeline.
Smart meters work by measuring properties’ energy consumption and providing real-time insights into how energy is being consumed to both the homeowner and provider, paving the way for innovative new strategies like demand response and virtual power plants.
CBI chief executive Sean Kidney described the loan as “a new frontier for green finance”.
“Intellihub is Australia’s leading smart meter operator with significant market share. The smart meter industry is fast growing. Indeed, Australians are installing solar panels in their homes eight times faster than any other country,” Mr Kidney said.
“A Paris-aligned future requires electricity infrastructure that can manage far greater shares of variable renewable energy; this issuance can pioneer a flood of similar investments that scale up renewables and drive down costs globally.”