Escalating electricity costs, shortage of electricity, and lack of power backup during load shedding is eating into farming profit margins and even threatening the survival of some sectors of the agri-industry. In comparison with other types of energy, solar power provides calculable, 25-year maintenance-free yields.
Nedbank’s Commercial Renewable Energy Financing Offering, is tailored for existing and new clients who wish to green their operations, reduce the cost of 12-14% annual energy increases to their bottom line, and achieve some independence from the national grid. The goal of this product is to match repayment terms to saving in electricity costs over the medium-term as far as possible.
“By forming strategic partnerships with key stakeholders in the agricultural sector, we have gained a deep understanding of the challenges farmers face in implementing more sustainable practices on their running farms,” says Mark Boshoff, Head: Business Banking Strategic Initiatives at Nedbank.
Offering creditworthy clients in the agri-industry longer than usual payback periods, the loan product notably also offers a 7% rebate on the loan via Nedbank’s partnership with the French Development Agency (FDA) subject to availability. He adds that clients approaching the bank for the funding of energy efficient machinery and equipment that can demonstrate verifiable energy savings in excess of 15% are also eligible for a 7% rebate.
“Through leveraging on the relationship with the NBI, we are also able to offer our clients free access to its newly launched Private Sector Energy Efficiency (PSEE) programme. This means small business clients can receive help-desk services, workshops and publications at no cost; medium-sized businesses fully-funded four-day energy surveys and follow-up service; and large agri-businesses up to 60% subsidised energy-reduction consultancy over an eight-month period,” adds Boshoff.
“So far, clients walking this exciting journey with us include agri-businesses installing renewable energy solutions to reduce their carbon footprint, as well as clients wanting to run their operations completely off-grid, and smaller businesses whose sustainability is at risk due to rolling blackouts,” says Boshoff.
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