Put together a group of people who have already achieved success in commercial building maintenance, project management, electrical services and sustainability, add in a compelling value proposition, and you’d expect them to get off to a flying start. That’s just what happened with NuGreen Solutions.

Savings from the get go

NuGreen’s value proposition is simple: achieve immediate savings of up to 70% on energy bills at your commercial property with no capital outlay. Include up to ten years of maintenance on the installed solutions, ake care of all the paperwork associated with the various energy efficiency credits, and it’s a difficult offer to refuse.

“We don’t need to talk about sustainability,” says NuGreen’s Director of Sustainability Integration, Geoff Gourley. “For our clients it’s all about the money saved from the reduction in energy use.”

With all of the partners having long-standing relationships with a number of large property managers, the financial benefits that NuGreen delivers sees the business on track to turn over $10 million in its first year of operation. NuGreen is targeting $10 million + for its second year.

Low-hanging fruit

Geoff is no stranger to the many pathways to sustainability, but his focus has been shaped by time working for Hansen Yunken and ISIS Group. “I was able to see first hand green buildings such as 60L, CH2 and K2 and compare their performance to the average commercial building. This reinforced to me the extent to which the built environment is a huge contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.”

Yet there is a great deal of scope to reduce energy use in this sector and to do so very cost effectively. Lighting, heating and air conditioning are the low-hanging fruits that are targeted by NuGreen Solutions, although their solutions extend into renewable energy, waste water and other areas.

“Replacing existing lighting with LED lamps can pay for itself in a year,” says Geoff. “If the full fittings are also replaced, it’s still only two to three years.”

Targeting big savings

Obviously the larger the client that NuGreen works with, the bigger the potential reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. It is therefore focusing on the top 1,000 companies in Australia. One notable project was installing  LED lighting in the Crown Casino complex. Other major clients include Toll Group, Local Councils and various universities, but size isn’t everything. “There are so many ways in which to save money through efficiency,” Geoff says, “so there are not many businesses that won’t benefit and we’ve also completed retrofits for small shops like Optus stores.”

Intelligent Technology

NuGreen expect technology to be a big part of sustainability in the future. “CSIRO is working on how to make buildings more intelligent,” says Geoff. “Buildings will monitor data from surrounding weather stations, anticipate the number of people that will be in the building and use all this information to predict heating and cooling needs ahead of time. It’s more efficient and automatic.”

Green finance

Sometimes funding for energy efficiency upgrades will come from a business’ capital budget, but green finance is becoming increasingly available. Westpac, for example, recently earmarked $6 billion to lend for clean technology and environmental services projects and other lenders are doing likewise. This allows NuGreen to base its business model on offering clients a positive cash flow from day one.

As Geoff points out, it’s a model that takes away all the barriers.