The Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Commonwealth Bank have launched a $100 million Energy Efficient Equipment Finance program to provide Australian businesses and not-for-profits with lower cost finance for energy efficiency assets.
The program will support business investment in energy efficient and lower emissions vehicles, equipment, machinery and fixtures that meet the CEFC’s investment guidelines.
Approved borrowers will gain a 0.7% discount on the bank’s standard asset finance rate on amounts between $10,000 and $5 million, where technologies meet the CEFC’s investment guidelines.
Eligible investments include fuel efficient vehicles, energy efficient lighting and fittings, farm machinery, commercial lighting and rooftop solar panels.

Upgrade to green

CEFC chief executive Oliver Yates said the program provided businesses with compelling reasons to invest in energy efficient and renewable technologies.
“In a world that is transitioning to cleaner energy through the rapid global uptake of technologies like solar, battery storage and electric vehicles, it is imperative Australian businesses position themselves to take advantage of technologies that will help them work smarter and save them money through reduced energy use and operating costs,” Yates said.
Business interest in energy efficient assets continues to grow as reductions in power bills and emissions make the financial decision easier to make.
The CommBank Asset Financing Australia Index Report 2016, conducted by East & Partners, showed increases in the number of businesses using, and planning to use, energy efficient vehicles or equipment. The report surveyed more than 800 businesses throughout the 2015-16 financial year.
Findings include:
• 20.5% of businesses plan to use energy efficient vehicles or equipment in the next 12 months (up from 14.7% from the start of the year).
• 12.5% currently use energy efficient vehicles or equipment (up from 9.5%).
• The number of businesses who had no intention to use energy efficient vehicles or equipment fell (from 59.0% to 45.1%) in the 12 months to June 2016.

The pay-off

“We know energy efficient assets help reduce operating costs, but we’re seeing businesses increasingly aware of other benefits to their business, reducing their carbon footprint, adding value to their brand and improving their productivity,” said Commonwealth Bank managing director asset finance David Farr.
The Energy Efficient Equipment Finance program builds on a working relationship between the Commonwealth Bank and the CEFC, which have been lending to Australian businesses together since the CEFC began investing in 2013.
Commonwealth Bank group executive for institutional banking and markets Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said: “This program forms a part of our commitment to proactively seek innovative ways to work with our business and corporate customers towards a sustainable, lower-carbon future and economy.”