Frequently Asked Questions
- Installation and post-installation
What does Munich Re insurance do?
Munich Re insure our product and service and protect our clients.
This is not a warranty and there are no tricky clauses. Our insurance boils down to 2 words - no haggle.
If there is an issue with an UrbanVolt fitting we visit your premises and replace it with no haggling.
When you add up all the monthly payments, it looks like capex - is it?
No, this is money you are already spending on your energy bill.
The natural thing to do is add up the 60 payments for our Light as a Service to get the total cost across the 5 years, and we highlight this cost to you in our data.
But this is not 'new money' - it is a proportion of your current operating expenditure.
Today you have one energy bill - with UrbanVolt you will have LED lighting and solar PV equipment working to reduce your energy bill, an UrbanVolt fee, and an increase in cash flow.
Why not just buy these LED lights directly and get all the savings myself?
Because you have a single opportunity to have the LED project pay for itself. This is the only time that a major infrastructural project on your site will be paid for from the savings generated. The fact is, the next time you carry out a lighting upgrade, the savings will not cover the cost of the project.
We believe businesses have better things to do with their capital - hire staff, purchase equipment to improve productivity, design a new product…..the list is endless.
As well as that, we make everything easy. Instead of having to shop around , haggle with contractors, project manage a team of electricians on site, and then maintain the LED fittings, we do that for you.
Use your time and money to grow your business, we’ll take care of the light.
Why wouldn't it make sense to buy solar PV myself?
Again, you’d be using your own cash and time for the project. Use ours.
Also, other commercial solar PV offerings in Ireland currently involve the sale of solar PV, or a leasing agreement which stretches to quarter of a century.
UrbanVolt’s SOLaaS offering is based on the same fundamentals as our Light as a Service - no risk, no upfront cost and increased cash flow.
How do you calculate the savings for the Light as a Service and SOLaaS project?
For a Light as a Service project - the number and wattage of the LED fittings, the operating hours and the unit rate you’re being charged for electricity are used to calculate the savings you can expect.
For a SOLaaS project - the location, roof angle and orientation and any shading of the roof are the variables which affect the energy generated. Then with your energy rate factored in, the estimated cash savings can be easily calculated.
How do you calculate the monthly fee?
The above explains how we calculate the savings generated, we then charge a monthly service fee, independent of the savings generated.
It is a function of the cost of the LED or solar PV equipment, the project management, the cost of the installation, the maintenance guarantee and a margin for ourselves.
Do you guarantee the savings?
We guarantee the wattage draw on our LED lights and the performance of our solar PV panels.
We have no control over the future price of energy, our client’s operating hours, or sunlight.
However, energy efficiency technology will ensure the impact of ever rising energy costs on your business is reduced.
Is this a financing or leasing arrangement?
Neither, Light as a Service and Solar as a Service are . . . you guessed it - service agreements.
Financing and leasing arrangements are similar to a car lease, which is customer-based finance.
When you choose to lease a car from a new car dealer, it is still a sale to the car dealer. Instead of selling it directly to you, he has sold that car to the finance company and you are buying it from the finance company over time. If the car breaks down or has a long drawn-out technical problem, you are still responsible for making all the payments, despite the fact that you don't have the use of the car during that time. That is not a service, that is a sale disguised in a way to make it more affordable.
In contrast, a car rental is provider-based finance.
When you rent a car from a large company, you are paying for a service over a defined period of time. If the car breaks down, they replace it immediately or you do not have to pay for the time you didn't have use of the vehicle. These companies use a lot of finance to fund their vehicle purchases, but it is irrelevant and immaterial to the end user. The company must replace the car when there is a problem or the customer doesn't have to pay. That is the definition of a service.
In summary, finance is easily misconstrued to customers but the basic difference is that with Light as a Service and Solar as a Service, UrbanVolt takes all the financial risk - with financed lighting, the customer takes all the financial risk.
We don’t offer financed or leased arrangements because UrbanVolt is not providing a lease or a loan and you are not buying LED lights or solar PV.
Why is this off-balance sheet?
It’s off balance sheet because we depreciate the LED lights and solar PV on our balance sheet.
At the end of the five year term, we transfer title of the fully depreciated LED lights and solar PV to our client.
There are no hidden clauses or additional payments, full title merely transfers to our client and they continue to enjoy the savings generated by the UrbanVolt technology.
Do you use energy credits?
Yes, energy credits are available for the Light as a Service projects. Energy credits are generated by energy efficiency projects and are directly linked to the amount of kWh savings generated by the UrbanVolt LED lights.
These credits are calculated per project and are independently verified by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
We use the credits to offset some of the installation cost.
Are there any incentives or governmental support for solar panels?
Currently the only incentives available from the government is in the forms of taxable profit deductions. In other words, you need to buy the technology first.
The UrbanVolt SOLaaS model does not require taxpayer money to accelerate adoption and does not rely on grants or funding incentives.