Verdia removes obstacles for building energy efficiency projects
Executing energy efficiency projects is now easier for Australian building owners and facility managers, according to Paul Peters, chief executive officer of energy services company, Verdia.
Historically, a lack of in-house resources to research and manage projects, difficulty in selecting suppliers and equipment and the up-front capital investment required has presented insurmountable barriers.
However, the pathway for commercial buildings to improve energy efficiency and generate their own energy on site has become easier through an agreement between Verdia and banking institution, Westpac.
An energy services start-up, Verdia aims to directly overcome these barriers by making it easier for property owners and facility managers to identify the right solution for their building.
Westpac engaged Verdia after the bank introduced a loan facility in conjunction with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to help Australian building owners invest in solar, battery storage and energy efficient technologies.
According to Peters, businesses are concerned about the cost of electricity in the future, but have not known where to turn to overcome these issues. He says the agreement between Verdia and Westpac will be a game changer in helping them achieve that, and comes at a time when building owners are expected to spend several billion dollars on distributor generation and energy equipment over the next five years.
“All of a sudden they (building owners and facility managers) have the accessibility to capital at the right price, which moves the dial to make it very achievable to accelerate the transition,” Peters tells Facility Management.
“We have been able to make the process seamless but now Westpac is bringing their customers to the table – it’s really opening up a new channel for the industry.”
With the traditional electricity grid evolving into a more flexible, distributed network, Peters says this will enable Australia to reduce carbon emissions and meet its climate change commitments.
“Historically, a lack of in-house resources to research and manage projects, difficulty in selecting suppliers and equipment, and the up-front capital investment required has presented insurmountable barriers.
In addition to the Westpac partnership, Peters adds that Verdia’s mission to support the transition to cleaner, more sustainable energy sources is backed by a strong advisory team and energy equipment partner network.
Verdia’s advisory team provides independent energy efficiency and solar expertise, while its network consists of carefully-assessed, accredited energy equipment suppliers.
“With the reach of not only the leading equipment suppliers, but also the reach of the bank, we have put in place what we think is a proposition and the capability to resolve some of the issues of these projects,” Peters explains.
“It is the issues of the past that we are focused (on resolving) and where our advisory capability can support facility managers and building owners.”
As part of Westpac’s energy efficient financing program, the bank is offering discounted funds for qualifying energy efficient equipment. The $200 million financing arrangement with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation supports the program.
The bank’s customers can then choose to receive advice through Verdia to help them design the projects. The aim of the program is to provide an end-to-end solution by helping businesses design an effective project, procure high-quality equipment, ongoing asset management and access to tailored financing.
Westpac commercial general manager Alastair Welsh says the bank is committed to helping make Australian businesses stronger and it recognises the opportunities that come with investment in energy efficiency, both in terms of lower costs for business and better environmental outcomes.
“This is an end-to-end solution that includes Verdia helping businesses with designing an effective project, procuring high-quality equipment and assisting with ongoing asset management,” Welsh says.
“Westpac and Verdia will work with customers to design, deliver and finance everything from single-site to large, multi-site energy efficiency and distributed energy programs.”