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Manufacturers to benefit from new CEFC loan agreement

28 June 2013

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has committed $50 million to support businesses looking to improve their energy productivity.

The CEFC commitment, which is matched by Commonwealth Bank will make Energy Efficiency Loans (EEL) available to the market, significantly scaling up the agreement which the Bank previously had with Low Carbon Australia to co-finance energy efficiency and small scale renewable projects.

CEFC CEO Oliver Yates said the leading edge funding relationship with the nation's largest bank would make over $100 million in new funding for mid-range businesses seeking to reduce their energy costs.

"This agreement with Commonwealth Bank offers clean energy finance opportunities to manufacturers and other sectors at a scale that simply hasn't existed until now," he said.

"These loans are designed to help businesses upgrade equipment for improved energy efficiency and can be used to finance up to 100 per cent of the project cost, enabling businesses to preserve their working capital."

The EEL can be used to fund a wide spectrum of equipment including energy efficient lighting, industrial refrigeration, methane capture, heat exchangers, energy efficient motors, pumps and fans, solar panels, compressed air and variable speed drives, cogeneration and trigeneration plants.

The CEFC and Commonwealth Bank agreement will provide finance that enables businesses to take immediate advantage of energy and operating cost savings from new equipment, positioning them to be more competitive," Mr Yates said.

Some $10.5 million of investment projects have already been funded by the co-financing arrangement with Low Carbon Australia, which has now been integrated into the CEFC, to assist manufacturers to reduce energy costs, including a trigeneration plant, industrial refrigeration upgrade and more efficient printing presses.

This financing helped Labelmakers install new printing presses that cut energy costs by 14 per cent and saved them more than $4 million a year in operational costs, while an upgrade funded for apple and pear supplier Radevski Coolstores in Victoria, reduced its refrigeration energy use by about a quarter and reduced costs by about $140,000 a year. Watch the video

Mr Yates said that the CEFC was working with the private sector including Commonwealth Bank to create enhanced clean energy investment opportunities for Australian businesses.

"In an environment of rising energy prices and a high Australian dollar, we are helping business to improve their energy productivity, transform energy use and reduce costs, so they can better position themselves in a low carbon economy," he said.

Media release, 2013

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