AMID the economic challenges brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses – in particular, small medium enterprises (SMEs) – are pressured to operate with greater cost efficiency.
One of the simplest ways to reduce costs is on electricity bills by leveraging renewable energy-related technologies via the installation of the solar photovoltaic (PV) system.
This has prompted Hong Leong Bank (HLB) to roll out the “HLB SME Solar Financing”, a green energy financing facility specially developed for Malaysian SMEs that are keen to install small-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at their premises.
This programme offers a financing package of up to RM1 mil per SME customer with a maximum loan tenure of seven years at an attractive interest rate.
In the past, solar PV installations were mostly large-scale, involving bigger companies or solar farms with multi-million ringgit of investments and lengthy approval processes.
However, some who have pursued smaller installations faced constraints to finance their projects.
Under the ‘HLB SME Solar Financing’ facility, HLB has empanelled seven local service providers to undertake a comprehensive one-stop solar PV installation, commissioning, operations and maintenance services to the bank’s SME clients.
“At HLB, we place increasing emphasis on sustainability while we are continuously working towards strengthening our own sustainability practices,” HLB group managing director and CEO Domenic Fuda pointed out.
“This includes having a business and corporate banking environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework to help the bank incorporate environmental, social and governance considerations in the credit evaluation of our SME and corporate customers.”
HLB managing director for business & corporate banking Yow Kuan Tuck noted that the bank has set aside an initial allocation of RM300 mil for the new solar financing facility.
“Many businesses are keen in adopting greener and cleaner energy sources for sustainability and concurrently be more cost efficient by installing solar PV panels on the rooftops of their business premises,” said Yow.
“The introduction of ‘HLB SME Solar Financing’ is well-timed as the ongoing economic challenges caused by COVID-19 have made SMEs take steps to recover and rebuild their business, which includes cushioning for future rise in energy costs as well as meeting the rising demand of conscious consumerism for sustainable business.”
Businesses looking to install rooftop solar panels are encouraged to leverage ‘HLB SME Solar Financing’ to reap the benefits of the Government’s Renewable energy mechanisms such as the self-consumption (SELCO) and Net Energy Metering (NEM) 3.0. – Feb 22, 2021