Market News

 April 03, 2012
ReEnergise pledges to find hard-to-reach finance for green firms

 A newly formed green energy broker designed to help businesses fund small-scale renewable energy projects has revealed it is weeks away from launching a domestic offer as part of the government's Green Deal energy efficiency loan scheme.

Surrey-based consultancy ReEnergise Group yesterday officially launched ReEnergise Finance, a dedicated brokerage that aims to help organisations struggling to secure bank finance for renewables and energy efficiency measures.

It aims to raise finance from a growing list of 10 non-mainstream banks that it can channel to companies seeking loans of between £75,000 and £5m for green improvement projects.

Adam Hewson, a former GE banker, who is now director of ReEnergise Finance, said lack of access to bank loans was the single biggest problem affecting the UK's emerging renewable energy and microgeneration sector.

He told BusinessGreen that the company is already working on six projects, including two biomass installations costing up to £300,000, an anaerobic digestion project worth around £1m, and some large-scale photovoltaic installations.

He added that ReEnergise has also formed a partnership with Panasonic Europe's solar division to help clients of the electronics giant access loans.

Hewson said ReEnergise was primariliy a broker but had developed green energy expertise to ensure it secures the best deals for its finance providers.

"In an environment where banks are restricted and reluctant to lend against what is perceived as new technology, there is increasingly a need for a specialist intermediary, in particular for commercial projects under the £10m mark," he said.

"In reality, finance is available in the UK for renewable energy; the trick is finding it and working with a partner that will get you the right deal. Government schemes are available but you have to have already invested in energy efficient equipment to qualify. We're offering businesses the chance to do that, which we see as the final piece in the energy puzzle."

He also revealed that ReEnergise is planning to launch a domestic finance offer in June ahead of the launch of the government's Green Deal loan scheme. The company plans to become a Green Deal provider responsible for both identifying finance for households and arranging energy efficiency improvements.

Hewson admitted that some of the finer details of the scheme had yet to be decided, including how to determine the period over which homeowners will be required to pay back loans.

However, he countered recent reports suggesting the Green Deal's October launch could be facing delays.

"The reports of delays are spurious," he said. "Many people just don't understand how big it is. They think it's going to be like the feed-in tariff where you just switch it on and people will sign up.

"It will be launched in October, and will start to get people involved but it's going to be an evolutionary process which could take a long time to scale up."