Calvin Capital, a funder, owner and manager of gas and electricity meters, has announced that it has raised approximately £1 billion (US$1.5 billion) to support the mass roll-out programme of more than 7 million smart meters in homes across Great Britain.
The roll-out programme is being supported by Calvin’s shareholder, Infracapital, and backed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) alongside six commercial banks (Barclays, Crédit Agricole CIB, HSBC, Santander, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd). The EIB will provide £360 million to this initiative that will significantly increase the roll-out of smart meters to reduce energy use and help households save money.
Jim Macdonald, Chief Executive Officer of Calvi, stated:
“This is a significant step for Calvin’s ambition of becoming the leading provider of financing and management services to energy retailers in respect of smart metering. Calvin has been, and continues to be, a pioneer in smart meter funding and management. Working with our world class lenders and shareholders, including the EIB for the first time, has allowed us to develop funding solutions that are flexible and cost effective in meeting the requirements of our customers over the next few years.”
Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice Presiden, commented:
“Smart meters make it easier for households and businesses to save energy and this huge roll-out will help to significantly cut Britain’s carbon emissions. As part of our commitment to support GB energy investment, the European Investment Bank is pleased to provide GBP 360 million to back Calvin’s crucial project that will enable millions of energy users to save money. This programme provides a benchmark for similar smart meter schemes across Europe in the future.”
This is the largest project so far to be backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe and the second in the UK. EFSI was established earlier this year by the European Investment Bank and the European Commission and will enable increased lending and attract private capital for crucial projects by the European Investment Bank in strategic sectors such as renewable energy, digital infrastructure, transport and R&D; as well as financing for SMEs. Since the start of EFSI more support for projects in GB have been approved by the board of the European Investment Bank than in any other country.
The programme will support the UK Government’s plans to ensure that over 53 million smart electricity and gas meters are installed in every domestic property in Great Britain by 2020. The energy industry has spent the last four years learning, testing, trialing and developing how the roll-out will work in practice. The mass roll-out will begin in 2016.
Calvin was advised by The Royal Bank of Scotland (financial) and Hogan Lovells. The commercial lenders were advised by Allen & Overy while Linklaters acted for the EIB.