Hussey and Co.

Hussey and Co.

Sector: Agribusiness

Address: 9 South Boundary Road East, Somerville VIC 3912

Environmental upgrade: 99kW solar PV (1st stage) 505kW solar PV (2nd stage)

Key drivers: Reduce energy costs

Interaction with SMF: Engaged SMF to finance EUA under a fixed rate arrangement

 

Problem

When your business is energy-intensive, how can you save up to $86,000 on power bills each year?

Agribusiness requires plenty of water and electricity to grow, wash, pack and store produce before its sold. If there’s no effort to reduce costs, farmers can quickly run into financial hardship.

Hussey & Co is a lettuce farm on the Morning Peninsula that delivers quality produce to Australia and overseas. With 74 acres of land, multiple sheds and industrial processing facilities, it relies heavily on energy to stay in business.

Solution

Hussey & Co wanted to trial a solar power system to see what impact it would have on its bottom line. But installation required capital. This is where an EUA (Environmental Upgrade Agreement) came in handy – it provided a mechanism to fund the project, without the complexity of traditional bank lending.

In addition to lowering power costs, Lance Petersen, General Manager of Hussey & Co said he was interested in solar energy because “investment in renewables is ‘the right thing to do’ given our changing climate.”

Process

Securing an EUA was simple. SMF (Sustainable Melbourne Fund) did all the paperwork and was able to loan Hussey & Co the capital it required. SMF also locked in a long-term fixed rate, giving Hussey & Co confidence to calculate its savings upfront, minimising risk. The EUA also enabled the landlord to own the system and improve the building at no upfront expense.

Outcome

After reviewing the cost savings due to the solar installation, Hussey & Co’s business owners were so impressed they decided to take out another EUA almost immediately. With the capability and expertise to fund projects of all sizes, SMF provided Hussey & Co with another $1million in capital to install a second solar system that now saves the company $86,000 per year.

The costs savings that come from EUAs can facilitate fantastic business growth. As Scott Bocskay, CEO of SMF, explains: “Repayment terms can be as long as 15 years, allowing business to unlock capital while still maintaining a positive cash flow.”

Hussey & Co’s new solar installation also cuts 754 tonnes of carbon emissions, which is the equivalent of taking 161 cars off the road each year.

 

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