The rapid rollout of Intellihub’s smart meters across Australia and New Zealand will be funded by a new Green Loan that will be the first of its kind to receive certification under the Electrical Grids and Storage criteria by the Climate Bonds Standard (CBS).
Intellihub shareholder Pacific Equity Partners announced the Green Loan certification today that will allow Intellihub to access important additional sources of green-linked financial capital.
Intellihub’s Green Loan is the first in the world to meet the Climate Bonds Initiative’s (CBI) strict criteria for Electrical Grids and Storage and demonstrates the essential role of the smart meter in helping to build grid resilience and facilitate the transition to Net Zero Emissions.
Part of the requirements of a CBS Certified green loan is the level of accountability required by the issuer.
Intellihub has established its own Sustainable Finance Framework setting out how it will manage the funds, which has been independently assured by EY.
Reports are made annually throughout the term of the loan which show funds are being used to provide products and services that have climate integrity through both their contribution to climate mitigation and their adaptation and resilience to climate change.
Intellihub CEO Wes Ballantine said smart meters were an essential part of energy systems for retailers, network operators and consumers.
“The energy sector across the world is evolving rapidly,” Mr Ballantine said.
“We are seeing rapid increases in solar penetration and energy businesses are digitising, decarbonising and decentralising their operations.
“Smart meters are playing a crucial role in supporting this transition across Australia and New Zealand.
“They’re also providing vital data and services to energy networks which helps manage peak demand, the impact of increasing penetration of solar energy and keeps the electricity grid safe and secure.”
The news comes as the Clean Energy Council marks the installation of three million Australian homes with solar energy systems. The smart meter is crucial in enabling homes with solar PV to participate in the two way flow of energy, demand response, smart home orchestration, improved network productivity and a more reliable grid.
Smart meters also provide insights in real-time; optimise the home for solar, batteries and electric vehicles; and enable new services like demand response and virtual power plants.
Smart meters have been the default meter in Australia since late 2017, however only one in four meters across the country are smart meters.
The Australian Energy Market Commission is undertaking a review into metering regulation with the aim of accelerating deployments of smart meters and increasing the benefits to consumers.
The new green loan facility has been arranged by ANZ, BNP, Crédit Agricole, MUFG, NAB, SMBC and Société Générale, with ANZ acting as sole Green Loan Coordinator for Intellihub.
The loan terms have been set at investment grade levels, reflecting the quality of Intellihub’s smart meter and data intelligence business and the internationally recognised green status of the loan.
The Climate Bonds Standard and Certification Scheme is an easy-to-use screening tool that provides a clear signal to investors and intermediaries on the climate integrity of certified climate bonds and loans.
A key part of the Standard is a suite of sector-specific eligibility Criteria.
Each Sector Criteria sets climate change benchmarks for that sector that are used to screen assets and capital projects so that only those that have climate integrity, through their contribution to climate mitigation, and adaptation and resilience to climate change, will be certified.