A new $250 million program from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) will assist councils across Australia in lowering their energy costs.
The CEFC Local Government Finance Program has been developed to provide flexible and competitive fixed-rate, long-term finance designed around the needs of councils.
“We see strong potential for operational savings through a range of renewable energy, energy efficiency and low emissions technologies,” said CEFC Executive Director, Paul McCartney.
“This program will support major investment activities across a range of eligible projects. For example, there are clear benefits to councils from converting street lighting to more efficient LED lighting, as well as installing rooftop solar PV on council-owned buildings.”
Loans of at least $10 million for a single project are available and finance can be drawn over three years. Councils will also be able to collaborate on joint financing agreements.
Australia’s 560+ local councils collectively spend more than $32 billion annually on housing and community amenities plus transport and communications infrastructure.
Given the potential savings involved through the CEFC’s program, it’s possible councils may be able repay the loan without impacting their net cash flows.
The CEFC has a solid track record of working with local government; a recent example being $30 million in financing for City of Melbourne’s next phase of boosting its solar power capacity, reducing emissions and saving on electricity costs.
The CEFC says it has developed a straightforward approval process and simple loan documentation to support the program, with expected timeframes from initial assessment to final contracts to typically be around 3 – 4 months.
More information regarding the CEFC’s Local Government Finance Program can be viewed here
Since it began, the CEFC has committed more than $1.4 billion in finance to for clean energy projects valued at over $3.5 billion.
Other options for councils to go solar – and with zero capital outlay – include solar PPA and leasing arrangements. These solutions offer the benefits of solar-generated electricity without the burden of ownership; while protecting against future electricity price rise risks.