First-of-its-kind program subsidises businesses and gives 6 months free energy
PVTIME – Smart Commercial Solar, one of Australia’s leading commercial solar installers and engineering companies, has partnered with not-for-profit Clear Sky Solar Investments to deliver what is believed to be a world-first in the face of the COVID-19 economic crisis: a widespread buyback of existing solar systems for more than their paid value and the provision of free energy for six months, followed by lower cost energy thereafter.
Thousands of Australian businesses have solar systems on their roofs but have seen their cash flows battered. The offering from Smart and Clear Sky allows these companies to use their solar assets to unlock cash flow.
“We saw a huge demand for this and realised that the economics of commercial solar allow for a historic win-win in which businesses get needed cash while maintaining the benefits of cheap renewable energy. The community investors supplying the capital that supports the buyback get a 7% return on their investment which is extremely attractive in a low-interest environment,” said Huon Hoogesteger, founder of Smart Commercial Solar.
The offer will see the buying of entire solar systems up to $2 million dollars at a premium (105% of the paid value if the system is under a year old), giving the company free energy for the first six months of operation and then selling them the energy generated afterward at costs lower than current utility prices. This will enable the companies to get the cash-value of their systems immediately and deliver the investors—largely individuals across Australia— a 7% return.
“If you are a business owner looking at the next 12 months and wondering how you will get through, this will go a long way to helping,” says Huon Hoogesteger, Smart’s founder.
The obvious need in the market has driven the move after the government’s asset-write off wasn’t necessarily doing the full stimulus job needed for businesses in the space. Hoogesteger sees this as both an important initiative to support Australian businesses and also an important trend shift in the way that commercial solar will be moving from a focus on installation into a more comprehensive approach to energy provision and monitoring.