... and the en­ergy ex­pert with a rem­edy for high hos­pi­tal elec­tric­ity bills

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - Wealth -

IN THE past few days the United Na­tions and the Met Of­fice have warned of the cat­a­strophic ef­fects of cli­mate change, prompt­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists to call for dra­matic ac­tion to curb en­ergy con­sump­tion.

Wind, so­lar and nu­clear power are all sup­posed to play their part but they are not the only so­lu­tions.

In the UK alone, up to 75 per cent of the en­ergy that we pro­duce is lost through in­ef­fi­cient trans­mis­sion, distri­bu­tion and end use so we spend more than we have to and make more than we need.

The SDCL En­ergy Ef­fi­ciency In­come Trust – known as SEEIT – is de­signed to help ad­dress this is­sue and de­liver at­trac­tive, sus­tain­able


re­turns to in­vestors at the same time. SEEIT an­nounced its in­ten­tion to float on the stock mar­ket at the end of last month, hop­ing to raise £150 mil­lion. Ap­pli­ca­tions must be in by Tues­day and the shares should start trad­ing on De­cem­ber 11.

They cost £1 each and are ex­pected to de­liver an ini­tial 5 per cent div­i­dend yield, ris­ing to 5.5 per cent by 2021.

The trust is man­aged by Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Cap­i­tal, an in­vest­ment firm which has set up en­ergy ef­fi­ciency pro­grammes for a num­ber of large or­gan­i­sa­tions, in­clud­ing St Bartholomew’s Hos­pi­tal in Lon­don, NCP car parks and San­tander’s UK bank branches and of­fices. The firm es­tab­lishes on­site en­ergy plants, which al­low users to by­pass the Na­tional Grid and use en­ergy more ef­fi­ciently.

It also works on projects to re­duce en­ergy con­sump­tion, such as in­stalling LED light­ing and im­prov­ing in­su­la­tion.

These can have far­reach­ing ef­fects, cut­ting an­nual en­ergy con­sump­tion and elec­tric­ity bills by at least 50 per cent an­nu­ally.

But the up­front costs can be high so SDCL fi­nances the projects and its cus­tomers pay a monthly or yearly fee in re­turn – much like mo­bile phone pay­ment schemes.

The con­tracts run for up to 20 years so the in­come is steady and pre­dictable and, un­like many in­fra­struc­ture funds, there is no re­liance on govern­ment fund­ing or sub­si­dies.

SEEIT will fo­cus on pro­grammes that are al­ready up and run­ning, there is a seed port­fo­lio of 12 such projects and a pipe­line of op­por­tu­ni­ties in the UK and over­seas.

The trust is man­aged by Jonathan Maxwell, who has worked in the sec­tor for more than a decade and worked on the flota­tion of HICL, the first Lon­don listed in­fra­struc­ture fund, whose value has risen more than ten-fold over the past 12 years.

MI­DAS VER­DICT: The en­ergy ef­fi­ciency mar­ket may seem niche but it is grow­ing rapidly and projects can be costly and ex­ten­sive – San­tander’s move to LED cost £17.5mil­lion and in­volved 90,000 new lights, for ex­am­ple. As a pi­o­neer in this mar­ket, SEEIT is well placed to sat­isfy grow­ing de­mand and de­liver re­wards to share­hold­ers. A feel­good in­vest­ment.

HEALTH BOOST: The trust helps a hos­pi­tal save en­ergy

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