UrbanVolt last year signed an agreement with the SUSI Energy Efficiency Fund (SEEF), agreeing an initial funding line of €30 million to UrbanVolt for LED retrofits for industrial premises.
The deal between UrbanVolt and SUSI Partners, who operate the SEEF, is the first time institutional capital of this magnitude has been put through a dedicated funding facility to finance small-scale energy efficiency projects in small to medium sized enterprises.
SEEF is the largest independent investment vehicle financing energy efficiency projects across Europe, with the agreement signed with UrbanVolt last year.
The deal between the parties has now been named as the global Energy Efficiency Deal of the Year 2017 by Environmental Finance.
Now in it’s 10th year, the awards recognise financial transactions which are having a transformative effect on the financial sector and the environment. Amongst the other winners for 2017 are BHP Billiton (Sustainable Forestry) and Allianz (Catastrophe Risk).
“The top-down approach to achieving global energy efficiency targets hasn’t worked effectively to date, so now it’s time to drive change from the bottom up,” said Declan Barrett, CCO of UrbanVolt.
We partnered with SUSI Partners because they recognised that our Light as a Service business model is transformative for the energy efficiency market. SUSI's ability to customise a bespoke funding facility was key, and our model is a great example in how scalable energy efficiency can be achieved.
“In our first year of business we carried out 100 major projects, saving those clients €20million in energy costs over the next 5 years. The work we are doing is giving our clients a competitive advantage while also having a positive impact on the environment and local economy.
“We have proven that energy efficiency should pay for itself and soon nobody will be buying products to try and cut their energy usage, they'll simply ‘UrbanVolt it’."
UrbanVolt’s Light as a Service® requires no capital investment from its client companies.
UrbanVolt funds, fits and maintains LED lighting solutions for large commercial properties (such as manufacturing plants, warehouses, car parks or large offices) and shares the cash saved by the client as a result. The model immediately delivers net cash savings of an average of 50% of the current energy spend for the property owners - even after UrbanVolt is paid its share of the savings.
Because no separate financing agreement – such as a lease or a bank loan, for example – has to be signed by the customer, the SUSI deal is more convenient for the end customer and easily scalable for UrbanVolt, said Sebastian Carneiro, director of SUSI.
The deal is also unique because of the way it is structured, bundling a number of small-scale projects that have been standardised in order for institutional investors to finance them.
In April the prestigious finance magazine, Trade and Forfaiting Review, carried out a global review of deals in 2016 and named the UrbanVolt and SUSI Partners agreement as one of the most innovative financial structures of the year.
UrbanVolt is the preferred lighting supplier for Bord Gais Energy’s 40,000+ commercial customers. The company was named Bank of Ireland Startup of the Year in 2016 and is well known for its recent sponsorship of the Leinster Rugby team.
The company is now expanding internationally and bringing it’s Light as a Service to new markets.