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CEFC, Commonwealth Bank bet on energy efficiency

The financing programme targets farm machinery upgrades and more energy efficient infrastructure.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Australia’s state-run renewables financier, and Commonwealth Bank have launched a A$100 million ($76 million; €68 million) energy efficient equipment finance programme to provide lower cost finance for assets, including farm machinery.

Targeting Australian businesses and not-for-profits, the programme is financed by the CEFC and offered through the Commonwealth Bank, according to sister publication Infrastructure Investor. The two groups aim to encourage business investment in energy efficient and lower emissions vehicles, energy efficient fittings, farm machinery, commercial lighting and rooftop solar panels.

To entice businesses, the programme will offer a 0.7 percent discount on the bank’s standard asset finance rate for investments valued at between A$10,000 to A$5 million.

“In particular, we see huge potential for the transport, agriculture and construction industries to realise major benefits from upgrading to energy efficient technologies,” said David Farr, Commonwealth Bank’s managing director of asset finance.

“We know energy efficient assets help reduce operating costs, but we’re seeing businesses increasingly aware of other benefits [like] reducing their carbon footprint, adding value to their brand and improving their productivity,” Farr added.

The Commonwealth Bank Asset Financing Australia Index Report 2016, conducted by East & Partners, surveyed over 800 businesses and the findings show steady increases in both the number of businesses using, and planning to use energy efficient vehicles or equipment.

Reporting by Nia Tam.