Dynamic Business Logo
Home Button
Bookmark Button

Credit: Appolinary Kalashnikova

New program offers affordable financing for SMEs to invest in sustainable tech

As Australia pushes for a net-zero economy, Metro and the CEFC have joined forces to introduce a new loan program – MetroEco – that aims to incentivize small and medium businesses to adopt green technologies.

Working with Australia’s green bank, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), MetroEco gives borrowers an ‘eco’ option when choosing financing for ‘green’ assets such as electric vehicles, solar panels and batteries. This will see the CEFC and Metro provide an interest discount to support consumer car loans to encourage the adoption of green technologies. Additionally, the eco option will include novated leasing options for electric vehicles. 

The program has been made possible through a $50 million investment by the CEFC. The initiative will use CEFC finance to offer customers a 0.5 per cent discount on Metro’s standard finance rate to purchase eligible EVs, energy efficient equipment and battery technology. Metro will match this discount with an additional 0.5 per cent discount – totalling a 1 per cent discount on each eligible commercial loan. 

The discounts apply to new battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles on a loan amount of up to $90,000. Under the program, Metro is also financing three new assets for the first time: batteries, solar and electric vehicle charging stations. Businesses can bundle any of these in a single loan to get the best interest rate discount.

Here’s what’s in it for SMEs (Small-to-medium sized enterprises) in the MetroEco program:

  • Discounted financing: SMEs can get a 1% discount on the interest rate for loans used to purchase electric vehicles (EVs), battery technology, and energy-efficient equipment. This discount is achieved by combining a 0.5% discount from both Metro and the CEFC (Clean Energy Finance Corporation).
  • Financing for new assets: Metro is now offering financing for three new asset types: batteries, solar panels, and electric vehicle charging stations. Businesses can even bundle these assets in a single loan to get the best possible discount.
  • Supporting the shift to green technologies: By offering financing at a reduced rate, MetroEco aims to encourage SMEs to adopt eco-friendly practices and contribute to a lower carbon footprint.

The MetroEco announcement comes as Metro releases its own research forecasting the uptake of ‘green assets’ among motorists. A survey of an independent panel of 1000 Australians, commissioned by Metro, found that 66 per cent of Australian motorists, if they purchased an electric vehicle, would invest in a home battery or solar panels to charge the vehicle. 

Almost a third (30%) of respondents said they would purchase one of the items when they bought the car, and 37 per cent would invest in these assets within 12 months of purchasing, or when they were able to afford it.  

The impetus behind MetroEco is to further encourage uptake of green technologies and raise awareness of the benefits of choosing electric and energy efficient vehicle and equipment options. 

Metro CEO Phillip Crossman says Metro is committed to supporting sustainability initiatives and creating a better future for the planet. “We are proud to be working with the CEFC again to provide financing for assets to help reduce carbon emissions. Our MetroEco initiative empowers Australian small-to-medium businesses and consumers to embrace green technologies and ultimately supports Australia’s transition to a net-zero economy. We believe our program is the most competitive in the green lending space. 

“Government rebates on electric vehicle purchases were successful in increasing their adoption – with nearly one third of the incentives claimed by end of August 2023. By the end of 2023, Australian motorists purchased 98,436 new electric vehicles1

“Metro is committed to providing financial incentives to borrowers looking to purchase not only electric vehicles but batteries, solar equipment and charging stations. There will be significant growth in the green lending sector through this kind of government support, which empowers businesses and individuals to invest in green technologies.” 

CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth says: “Our work with Metro underscores our commitment to accelerating the adoption of clean energy assets in Australia. CEFC finance is incentivising businesses and individuals to choose technologies that support Australia’s transition to a low-carbon economy. We are keen to see the concept adopted broadly across the business community.” 

Metro has launched a MetroEco information microsite, called the MetroEco Hub: https://metrofin.com.au/resources/eco-hub/ to inform accredited brokers and borrowers about the program, green technologies, emissions profiles and energy performance data to encourage adoption of green assets.  

Keep up to date with our stories on LinkedInTwitterFacebook and Instagram.

What do you think?

    Be the first to comment

Add a new comment

Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

View all posts