Westpac and Verdia help accounting firm save 50% of energy costs

01 Nov Westpac and Verdia help accounting firm save 50% of energy costs

Mackay-based chartered accounting firm, Connole Carlisle, is improving the bottom line and getting smarter about the way it uses energy, through a unique Westpac solution. The bank is working with energy expert, Verdia, to provide end-to-end support to identify, design and deliver energy projects that save money – financed by Westpac.

Unexpected value for business clients

Brett Quinn, Partner at Connole Carlisle, commented, “I really didn’t expect our bank to be talking to us about saving energy – that was a surprise, something a bit different. We were certainly happy to have a chat and find out what the potential was for us to save money on our energy bills. The business case was compelling, so we were keen to proceed.”

Verdia analysed Connole Carlisle’s energy bills, which came to around $15,000 per annum. Based on the firm’s patterns of energy usage, location and available roof space, Verdia proposed installing a 24.84 kW solar system. This would enable Connole Carlisle to use around 50 per cent less energy from the grid every year, offsetting their consumption with the energy they produced themselves.

Connole Carlisle opted for Equipment Finance from Westpac’s Energy Efficient Financing Program. The program is backed by a $200m financing arrangement with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, allowing for a 0.70% discount on typical equipment finance rates.

Quinn said, “Verdia projections indicate that our electricity savings should be slightly more each year than our finance repayments, so we should see a positive cash flow each year, with the system fully paid off in year six.”

Reducing the risk

A key benefit to working with Verdia is their nationwide network of accredited equipment partners, all carefully assessed for the quality of their products and service. To deliver the solar system, reputable local company Five Star Power was selected, through a procurement process managed by Verdia.

Brett Quinn said, “We’re experts in accounting, not energy. With limited knowledge there’s always the risk of ending up with a solution that’s not the best fit. So Verdia’s expertise and accreditation program definitely gave us the confidence that we were getting the right solution, at the right price, from the right provider.”

Noel Fordyce, Director at Five Star Power and Solahart Mackay also found the process of working with Verdia and Westpac beneficial, “It’s made a huge difference that the people offering the finance understood what solar could do. Typically, we’d have to do a lot of explaining to get them to understand why the solution is a safe bet for finance. Now we’re an accredited Verdia supplier, it’s really quick and straightforward. Also, with Verdia, the clients get ongoing monitoring of system performance, and that’s really important. It’s that back up to ensure they system continues to perform as it should, long term.”

Minimal disruption, maximum results

The solar installation was managed in a way that did not impact on Connole Carlisle’s daily business – Quinn said, “Electricity outages can have a financial impact on any business – without electricity we can’t service our clients. So it was a relief to know that there wouldn’t be any impact with the installation.”

The future is bright

With the installation up and running – and delivering the expected results to date – the future looks bright for Connole Carlisle.

Connole Carlisle's solar array

Connole Carlisle’s solar array