The Answers To Our Most Frequently Asked Questions about
Light as a Service
When UrbanVolt was founded in 2015, our Light as a Service (LaaS®) business model turned the lighting industry on its head.
For the first time, upgrading your business to LED was easy. We removed all the barriers – both financial and operational – and created a hassle-free way for companies to cut energy costs and consumption.
Four years on, we’ve completed hundreds of LaaS® projects across the globe, and we’ve become experts at the questions that most concern business decision-makers. Here are the most popular:
What is UrbanVolt and what do you do?
Our mission at UrbanVolt is to radically reduce global energy consumption by upgrading businesses to energy efficient LED lighting. We achieve this by making LED technology both attractive and accessible to the world’s largest energy users, who are our clients in the industrial and manufacturing sector, through our Light as a Service (LaaS®) model.
Light as a Service? What’s that?
Think of it this way, why would a smart business buy lights when really all they need is the light generated from the LED fitting? LaaS® removes the need to invest in a depreciating asset — you pay for the light output, not the light itself. Sound good? It gets better.
UrbanVolt’s LaaS® model not only ensures client companies have new and efficient LED lighting technology, but also includes a range of other benefits. We cover every aspect of a lighting upgrade from start to finish: that’s capital investment, project management, and maintenance for 5 years too. This makes it a simple process for you, and allows you to focus on your core business.
Let’s get straight to it, how does the payment work?
Our payment is structured as a monthly service charge rather than an upfront capital expense, and comes from the savings generated by the LED technology. This means that it is an off balance sheet solution, that won’t impact your financial covenants or borrowing capacity.
The service charge is paid over a five year term. Payment commences one month after your installation is complete. Please note that this is not financed lighting. Financed lighting would require a contract / lease agreement and include an annual interest charge. Our service agreement is much simpler.
How much is the monthly service charge?
The service charge varies depending on your lighting requirements, running hours and industry. With a minute of your time and few pieces of information about your building, our online pricing tool can give you a custom pricing estimate.
What are the terms and conditions around maintenance?
If a fitting fails, UrbanVolt are responsible for its repair — no questions asked.
Our Installation and Maintenance agreement states that we must replace a failure inside 30 days. Otherwise, you can postpone that month’s service charge, until the issue is resolved. We are confident, given the very low failure rate of our fittings, that this will never be an issue.
Can you prove the exact draw of electricity on an existing fitting?
Yes, we can arrange the installation of metering and verification equipment to demonstrate the difference pre and post installation. This means you can audit your energy saving in real time.
Why would I not just buy the lights directly, and get all the savings myself?
Good question. UrbanVolt’s LaaS® offering is indeed not the right option for every business. For example, due to our five year agreement, it’s unsuitable for those with a short term lease on their premises. Additionally, it’s not suitable for smaller companies. If you have less than 50 lights, it is advisable to replace your lights as they fail rather than opt for Light as a Service.
LaaS® is well suited to larger projects, as it removes all operational and financial risk for the client. Buying lights directly in this case would incur a huge upfront capital expense. You may have the capital to buy directly, but there’s no arguing that it could be better invested elsewhere. UrbanVolt puts up all the capital investment and retains ownership of the light fittings over the five year term, so that you have zero financial risk.
UrbanVolt’s model also removes the need for you to carry out the 75 point project management plan of an effective LED upgrade, and avoids any maintenance headaches — as both project management and maintenance are included in our monthly service charge.
What happens if UrbanVolt goes out of business?
We insure every project with the largest reinsurance company in Europe, Munich Re.
Munich Re is an A+ rated reinsurance company with a €30+ Billion market value. They are the company that insurance companies and banks (AIB & BOI are customers) get to insure them. If UrbanVolt is unable to honour our maintenance and repair obligations for any reason in the future, you are covered.
If UrbanVolt do not repair a failed light within 30 days, the client can stop paying. Munich Re will subsequently replace the failed lights. They also cover theft, fire and breakage damage to the lighting. Additionally, Munich Re will also make the payments on behalf of the client to our investors. There is no threat of the lighting being repossessed by any of our creditors/receivers in the event of our insolvency.