UOB launches financing platform for energy efficiency projects in buildings, homes

U-Energy is part of UOB's suite of sustainable financing solutions under its Smart City Sustainable Finance Framework. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - UOB has launched an integrated financing platform to drive the development and adoption of energy efficiency projects for buildings and homes in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

At launch, the platform - called U-Energy - will have nine energy service companies for customers to tap for energy efficiency projects.

These companies will help customers cut on average at least 20 per cent in energy consumption, UOB said in a statement on Wednesday (Oct 13).

The bank noted that energy service companies play a key role in the ecosystem by providing technology and services such as project consultation, sustainable and cost-efficient design energy audit, and the end-to-end implementation and management of the retrofits to buildings.

To finance the projects, commercial and industrial building owners can either directly purchase the energy-efficient equipment or system with UOB's green financing, or take up the "energy-as-a-service" model, where UOB will provide green loans to the U-Energy partners at no upfront cost to building owners.

Meanwhile, home owners can opt for a 0 per cent interest instalment plan of up to three years by paying for their energy efficiency retrofitting projects with UOB credit cards.

UOB said that while building owners and home owners are keen to take on energy efficiency projects to reduce energy consumption, they often lack financing support and the expertise to find the right energy service companies.

"By creating an end-to-end solution, we act as a catalyst and an enabler to help our clients save energy costs and to reduce their carbon footprint," said Mr Frederick Chin, UOB's head of group wholesale banking and markets.

UOB had earlier supported an energy efficiency retrofitting project at SGX Centre by providing a green loan to Comfort Management, a U-Energy partner. The project included the installation of a new intelligent energy management system.

U-Energy is part of UOB's suite of sustainable financing solutions under its Smart City Sustainable Finance Framework. Under the same framework, the bank also has U-Solar, an integrated financing platform for solar energy, and U-Drive, an integrated value chain solution for the electric vehicle ecosystem.

Shares of UOB were trading at $26.57 as at the midday break on Wednesday, up 43 cents or 1.7 per cent.

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