UOB Malaysia has launched U-Energy, the first integrated financing platform in Asia, to drive the development and adoption of energy efficiency projects for buildings and homes in the country. Following U-Energy’s first roll-out in Singapore, the Bank will help Malaysian businesses and homeowners save on electricity bills, cut carbon emissions and achieve their sustainability goals.
Worldwide, buildings and construction projects account for 39% of carbon emissions, according to the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction(1). In Malaysia, this will be a key area to tackle in order to meet the country’s target to reduce up to 45% greenhouse gas emissions from the 2005 levels, as part of efforts to attain carbon-neutral status by 2050(2).
While building owners and homeowners are keen to take on energy efficiency projects to reduce energy consumption, they often lack the financing support and expertise to find the right energy service companies (ESCOs). UOB has developed U-Energy to address this gap in the market.
Ng Wei Wei, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, UOB Malaysia, said, “UOB Malaysia has been working with strategic industry players to create partner ecosystems and solutions that simplify sustainability for our clients. We are pleased to bring U-Energy, another progressive, integrated financing platform, to Malaysia and help businesses and homeowners contribute to a cleaner environment.
“For businesses and homeowners, implementing energy-efficiency projects on their premises may take up substantial amounts of time, investment and resources. With its end-to-end solutions, U-Energy makes it easy for our customers to access services, from project consultation and financing to implementation, to save energy costs and to reduce their carbon footprint. It also demonstrates UOB’s role as a catalyst and enabler in shaping behaviours and actions that go toward forging a sustainable future.”
In Malaysia, the U-Energy platform features ten ESCOs, which customers can tap for energy efficiency projects. ESCOs play a key role in the ecosystem by providing technology and services such as project consultation, sustainable and cost-efficient design energy audit, as well as end-to-end implementation and management of the retrofits to buildings. These U-Energy partners can support common 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.
On average, the ESCOs on the U-Energy platform will help customers cut at least 20 per cent in energy consumption(3).
U-Energy is also supported by government agencies such as the Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) Malaysia, Malaysian Investment Development Authority and Malaysian Green Technology Corporation.
Nazri Mizayauddin, Chief Strategic Officer, Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) Malaysia, said, “We are heartened by the launch of U-Energy, Asia’s first integrated financing platform focused on driving energy efficiency in the country. Buildings and homes that consume less energy produce less carbon footprint have a direct positive impact on the environment in the long term. Easy access to such financing platform supports the national agenda in attaining a low-carbon nation status and in contributing to the development of cleaner and more sustainable cities”.
Flexible financing options for building owners
Commercial and industrial building owners can opt for direct purchase of the energy-efficient equipment or system with green financing from UOB Malaysia. Under this scheme, building owners may obtain a loan of up to RM25 million with a maximum seven-year loan facility, subject to optimal equipment and system sizing by the U-Energy partners(4). To enable greater speed to market, loan applications of building owners who are existing UOB Malaysia customers will be put on a fast-track approval process. Alternatively, building owners can take up the “energy-as-a-service” model where UOB Malaysia will provide green loans to the U-Energy partners at no upfront cost to building owners(5).
For homeowners, UOB Malaysia offers a zero per cent interest instalment plan of up to three years when UOB credit cards are used as the mode of payment for their energy efficiency retrofitting projects(6).
U-Energy is part of the sustainable financing solutions under the UOB Smart City Sustainable Finance Framework. In 2019, UOB Malaysia launched U-Solar(7), Asia’s first integrated financing platform for solar power, under the same framework.
UOB has three other sustainable financing frameworks(8), namely the Green Trade Finance Framework, Real Estate Sustainable Finance Framework and Green Circular Economy Framework. Aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, UOB’s sustainable financing frameworks enable companies to apply for green or sustainability-linked banking products without having to develop their own financing framework.
For more information on U-Energy, please visit www.UOBgroup.com/u-energy.