In Barbados the heavy reliance on expensive imported fossil fuels has resulted in a passionate drive to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency, the keys to reducing carbon emission and destructive climate change. Photovoltaic (PV) systems, LED lighting and electric cars are dominating the alternative energy landscape and rightfully so as we move to a greener economy. Much of the focus thus far has been on residential customers and increasing the household uptake of these solar devices. However, the main energy users are our commercial entities particularly in the agriculture, manufacturing and tourism sectors. The need to reduce energy costs and operational efficiency are crucial business practices for successful organizations to enable them to sustain profitability.

The Government of Barbados is committed to introducing clean energy technologies and has already established a framework by offering companies free energy audits and income tax rebates on systems that produce electricity from sources other than fossil fuels. In the case of energy audits, these most commonly consist of an analysis of energy usage within an establishment and its equipment and identifies areas of improvement. This is a worthy exercise for any business and it is critical therefore that corporate management view solar energy as a viable long-term investment that will result in energy savings overtime.

Many companies overlook the advantages of utilizing renewable energy within their businesses often because they view the cost as prohibitive and if they have to borrow they forgo doing so because right now they don’t need to provide security to pay their light bills. Signia Financial, however, can assist in this regard. Not only can companies access lower interest rates but no additional collateral is required to receive financing for alternative energy devices. Here are the options available to your business:

  • For secured alternative energy loans: entities can access the Industrial Credit Fund (ICF) available through the Central Bank of Barbados for up to 90% of the loan at reduced rates. The ICF provides credit to productive enterprises mainly in the private sector for a number of industries including the agriculture, tourism and manufacturing sectors mentioned above.
  • For unsecured alternative energy loans: the Central Bank Credit Guarantee Scheme can be utilized for up to 90% of the loan and a maximum amount of $700,000. This scheme was developed specifically to assist companies in obtaining adequate security for loans. Under this scheme an annual premium of 0.75% is paid to the Central Bank for the duration of the facility.

All submissions to the Central Bank are made by Signia on behalf of our clients and facilities are available for up to seven years.

With the easily accessible options to finance your alternative energy device, whether it is a PV system, an electric car or the installation of LED lights, Signia Financial can help you with this investment. The energy audits at no cost, the income tax rebates available, the savings that can then be utilized in other areas of the business, the cheaper financing available; all these factors make the decision to try alternative energy that much easier.

Make the right choice today and let Signia lead the way.

About the Author

Ayesha Maycock -

Ms. Maycock has been with Signia since April 2004 and continues to play a vital role in positioning Signia Financial Group Inc. as one of the leading stock brokerage houses in Barbados. As Commercial & Investment Manager she is also responsible for Corporate Lending and Leasing as well as our Foreign Exchange Trading service.