Brighte idea

Brighte Capital founder Katherine McConnell says today more consumers understand that solar can bring about energy savings, however for the average Australian the upfront cost of several thousand dollars is still a barrier. That’s where “affordable payment solutions” can help, which is the role of the finance provider.

Brighte Capital is working with thousands of businesses across Australia to provide on-the-spot finance that enables more homeowners to install rooftop solar PV and batteries.

According to Katherine McConnell seven in ten Brighte customers say they would have delayed, or not purchased solar at all if they didn’t have the option to tap into Brighte finance,

“Brighte has brought in a product; we really can see that we have allowed more customers to buy what they want and what they need today,” she says.

To date 40,000 Australians have made applications. Brighte Capital approvals came in at $18.5 million by August 2019 – not bad for a company less then four years old.

“We think that is evidence of consumers’ interest in solar and the huge and increasing market for solar,” she said.

“We’ve experienced very high growth. This business speaks to innovation in Australia and solving the problem of a lack of choice, we filled the void in the market by putting structures in place,” said the former Macquarie Bank staffer with a depth of experience in the finance sector.

Katherine McConnell who is believed to be the first woman in Australia to establish a finance company, has strong views about people having distributed energy generation on their roof.

Back in 2012 she installed solar PV on her home rooftop and added batteries for energy storage three years later.

“It’s just ethical – logical – for homeowners to install solar power systems, it is cost effective and these days most systems can be paid back in just three to five years.”

Battery pay-back may not quite make sense yet, she said, but for those who can afford a battery it makes good sense being able to store the energy instead of putting it back into the grid, and in time costs will come down

“I’m a logical person and I do like the fact we can create our own energy, it suits the philosophy that we do the best we can, including composting and recycling, to leave a smaller footprint and to individually make a difference.”

McConnell relishes the thought of home-generated solar energy stored in batteries to power the family vehicle at some stage in the future.

“It would be exciting to think that one day electric vehicles hooked up to a home energy generation supply will become more common, and it makes sense for us to help bridge the gap,” she said.

The Smart Energy Council is pleased to welcome Brighte Capital as a member.

Read more in Summer Smart Energy magazine