With Australian businesses increasingly riding the “energy wave” to reduce cost and lenders beginning to recognise the sector’s massive potential, mortgage brokers can end up as the big winners, according to asset finance provider Platform Finance.
“Energy is the fastest growing sector in the finance space and there are enormous opportunities for brokers who want to expand their footprint,” Platform Finance director for aggregation and strategic partnership Damian Mantini said in a statement.
At present, he added, there’s only a 4 to 5% penetration for commercial solar but in the next five years, his company anticipates it to increase by 10 to 15%, especially as more and more businesses are “adopting a green vision for the future and seeking to become more independent of market power prices”.
Solar (photovoltaic) panels, energy efficient lighting, batteries and newer, more efficient HVAC systems are the four main sectors businesses are looking to finance in the energy space.
However, as lenders are beginning to realise the potential of the energy sector, several major banks still choose not to lend for solar solutions.
Easy step for brokers
According to Mantini, relationships will also help mortgage brokers diversify into the energy sector. “Mortgage brokers already have a rapport with their customers, so this is an easy next step. It’s all about incremental revenue. They can leverage their existing relationship and add value in a different way,” he said.
Platform Finance head of vendor and energy finance Chris Murray said that after seeing the domestic solar wave gather speed, it’s now the turn of businesses. “Australia is a sun-drenched country, so it makes sense that business owners take advantage of this natural resource and the various government rebates that are available,” Murray explained.
He added that Germany, one of the countries with the least sunshine hours on earth, is a great example of what can be achieved with solar power by making it their cheapest source of power generation. Another huge incentive of solar power is its capacity to provide great investment returns for business owners, vendors and brokers.
Platform finance has set up a specialist energy division to meet the growing need for energy-related finances and is providing education and training to help upskill brokers in the energy sector.