Belgian-based EcoNation developed Lighten the Energy Bill to promote a unique financing mechanism that enables the installation and management of sustainable lighting systems, by absorbing the entire upfront investment and sharing the profits with the end user. Once the lighting system is installed, customers are charged monthly installments that are guaranteed to be lower than their original electric bill.
- The project has so far saved up to 402 million kWh and 305,520 tonnes of CO2 – both thermal and electrical savings calculated on existing and upcoming projects.
- It had a 300% growth in 2013 and the same growth is expected for the coming years.
- The project’s technology, business model and financial proposals are fully independent from subsidies. It involves an agreement between EcoNation and an end customer, without government support or need for external incentives other than the pure energy savings themselves.
As a result of rising energy prices and the need to shift onto a more sustainable pathway, many companies, governments and institutions want to reduce their use of conventional energy while cutting costs at the same time.
EcoNation focuses on the manufacture of a technology called LightCatcher. The LightCatcher is an intelligent skylight that not only captures daylight but also controls the light fittings and monitors how these fittings behave. This monitoring and quantification technology is the basis for EcoNation’s financial model. The technology makes it possible to quantify the generated savings and thus provide a financial offer.
Lighten the Energy Bill demonstrates innovative financing in several ways. The project relies on third-party financing with guaranteed profits. The financing mechanism is built as a service agreement where the customer pays monthly installments in exchange for guaranteed energy savings. If EcoNation does not generate these savings, the customers get cash back.
The project is fully independent from government incentives. It involves an agreement with an end customer, without government support or the need for external incentives other than the pure energy savings themselves.
This financial model has been awarded by Bloomberg and by the World Economic Forum as a major game changer.
Helping the planet
The LightCatcher comes with a CO2 guarantee – it has an ecological footprint that is up to 6.6 times smaller than that of traditional light domes. The systems do not use any kWh and do not release any CO2 emission throughout their lifecycle.
Lighten the Energy Bill has so far saved up to 402 million kWh and 305,520 tonnes of CO2 – both thermal and electrical savings calculated on existing and upcoming projects.
Because the implemented projects have an expected lifetime of at least 20 years, they will be responsible for a total savings of 8,040 million kWh and 6.11 million tonnes of CO2 reduction in the next two decades.
Two percent of EcoNation’s revenue goes to good causes. The company supports several projects, both at the local and international level. For each LightCatcher fitted in Morocco, EcoNation provides 10 poor families with energy-saving bulbs.
EcoNation also supports the Liter of Light project. For each LightCatcher installed, EcoNation sponsors 10 Liter of Light solar bulbs in the world’s poorest regions.
Econation had a 300% growth in 2013 and the same growth is expected for the coming years.
EcoNation is expanding quickly, with a focus on growth, expansion and new projects. The company is currently active in 15 countries and has facilities in Belgium, Morocco, South Africa and China. Among their customers are multinationals as Umicore, Vattenfall, Delaval, Total, Scania, Schiphol Airport, Skil, Bosch, Techspace Aero, Volvo, TVH, as well as dozens of medium-sized enterprises.
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