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SUSI energy efficiency fund makes €30m Irish investment

The Swiss manager hailed the deal as ‘unique’ after institutional capital was used to fund a lighting upgrade in the SME sector for the first time.

The SUSI Energy Efficiency Fund has agreed to invest €30 million in lighting retrofits in Ireland after partnering with industrial lighting provider UrbanVolt.

The company provides mostly small and medium-sized businesses in Ireland with energy efficient LED lighting and SUSI said the deal represents the first time institutional capital is used to back such a transaction.

UrbanVolt said SUSI’s investment will result in over 100,000 tonnes of CO2 savings a year. The companies added that the investment will be backed by HSB Engineering Insurance, part of Munich Re, which will insure each project.

“With this financing facility, institutional capital can finally finance small-scale energy efficiency projects with SMEs which have traditionally been out of reach due to their size. The financing facility we’ve put in place with UrbanVolt is almost unique for the energy services industry in Europe,” said Sebastian Carneiro, a director at SUSI Energy Efficiency.

“By bundling projects together, the transaction becomes feasible for SEEF financing and provides long-term security of funding for our partner UrbanVolt. This funding model has great potential to be applied to other energy technologies and even with private households as in the case of residential solar.”

SEEF, launched in 2013 and currently in the midst of deploying €250 million. Last month, the fund financed the retrofitting of over 40,000 street lighting points across five municipalities in Italy.