Fintech company Plenti (previously Ratesetter) spotted a gap in the market for renewable energy loans three years ago and has since teamed up with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and loaned more than $110 million to households wanting to install solar, batteries and other low carbon tech.
According to Louis Edwards, head of renewable energy finance at Plenti, green loans are a core pillar of the publicly listed lending business’s growth.
Just this week, the company teamed up with OpenSolar so that user of the solar sales app will be able to access finance seamlessly if they decide to go ahead with their solar project.
OpenSolar’s whitelisted app allows solar installers to offer their customers a smooth end-to-end interaction starting with a visual model of what the solar panels will look like and how much money they can expect to save.
Edwards says integrating a finance offering into a sale platform is novel and will make it “easier and faster to offer affordable and fair financing”.
Plenti’s foray into renewable loans started with a $20 million cornerstone investment from the CEFC in 2017 for an innovative peer-to-peer green lending platform. The marketplace allows “mum and dad and retail investors to co-lend with the CEFC [Clean Energy Finance Corporation] and lend to worthy renewable borrowers.”
The platform allows investors to nominate the amount they wish to invest and the interest rate they are prepared to accept. This request is then matched to approved borrowers, who can access this finance to invest in eligible clean energy assets.
This deal set the company up to administer the South Australia government’s battery subsidy program, which offered households a $6000 subsidy and the option to apply for a loan though Plenti to cover the unsubsidised remaining cost.
It’s also teamed up with the NSW government to administer interest-free loans for solar batteries through its Empower Homes scheme.
“It’s all part of our values and ethos for a greener and greener world,” Edwards said.