UOB unveils financing platform for businesses, homeowners’ green energy needs

UOB has launched U-Energy, a financing platform that can reportedly help businesses and homeowners save electric bills, cut carbon emissions, and achieve their sustainability goals.

Touted as the first integrated financing platform in Asia, U-Energy aims to provide financing support to building owners and homeowners who are keen to take on energy efficiency projects to reduce energy consumption.

Globally, buildings and construction projects account for 38% of carbon emissions, according to the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction. In Singapore, this will be a key area to tackle in order to meet the country’s target of reducing carbon emissions by 36% from the 2005 levels by 2030, UOB said.

At launch, the U-Energy platform will have nine energy service companies that customers can tap for energy efficiency projects. These partners can support energy efficiency projects such as improving chiller and air conditioning efficiency, installing solar panels on rooftops, switching to LED lights, optimising energy and power management systems and changing the building façade to reflect direct sunlight to reduce heat absorption, as well as replacing elevators with energy-regeneration technology.

Commercial and industrial building owners can opt for a direct purchase of the energy-efficient equipment or system with UOB’s green financing. Under this, building owners may obtain a loan of up to $10m with a maximum seven-year loan facility, subject to optimal equipment and system sizing by the U-Energy partners. 

Loan applications of building owners who are existing UOB customers will be put on a fast-track approval process. 

Alternatively, building owners can 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.

For homeowners, the bank offers a zero percent interest installment plan of up to three years when UOB credit cards are used as the mode of payment for their energy efficiency retrofitting projects.

Through U-Energy, the bank hopes to drive the development and adoption of energy efficiency projects for buildings and homes in Singapore, followed by Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

On average, the energy service companies on the U-Energy platform will help customers cut at least 20% in energy consumption, said UOB.