Plenti is positioning itself as the financing partner of choice for Australian energy retailers, helping their customers more easily transition to home solar and battery systems.

Fintech lender Plenti Group (ASX:PLT) says its partnerships with AGL Energy and Energy Australia to offer interest-free loans and drive uptake of solar and battery technology is just the start as it negotiates deals with other major retailers.

By deeply integrating Plenti finance, electricity providers can offer innovative payment plans where energy costs are bundled together solar-battery system finance – all presented on the one bill. Not only does it make renewable energy more accessible, but it provides customers with a vastly simpler purchasing and payment journey.

Speaking with Stockhead, Plenti CEO Daniel Foggo says the company already has a strong presence in financing home batteries in Australia, partially because it delivers government programs in South Australia and New South Wales.

“We believe we are the largest funder of home batteries in Australia,” Foggo said.

“In South Australia we have been administering subsidies and providing finance for the home battery scheme which has led to almost 200 megawatts of energy storage, which is more than the big Tesla battery in regional South Australia.

“We have been running a pilot in New South Wales for what is expected to be a very large program.”

He said through the government run programs Plenti had been working with lots of energy retailers and manufacturers to help fund installation of home solar and batteries through interest free loans.


AGL and Energy Australia deal

Foggo said the large players like AGL, and Energy Australia are looking to assist their customers install solar and batteries into their homes.

He said the purchase of solar can be cheap and cost effective at around $5k to $7k but rises substantially with the installation of batteries.

“When you install a battery as well the total installation cost can go up to around $15,000 so what is helpful for consumers is if they can bundle together their energy plan with the finance for the installation of the solar and battery,” he said.

“While you might have a new cost to pay for a battery and solar, you have reduced your power bill because you’re consuming less electricity, so we think we have an important role to play in driving the uptake of solar and batteries in Australia.”

“That’s what we’ve been working on with large retailers like AGL and Energy Australia because if you have a bundled solution its much simpler with one payment.”

Plenti likens the simplicity and appeal of the plan to that of a mobile phone whereby the device and usage costs come combined, delivering a much easier process to customers.


Lion’s share of lending

Foggo said the company was in discussions with other larger energy retailers, which it was hoping to announce soon with strong forecasts for future growth in the sector.

“Without being too precise, I think we have grown in this space over 100% in the past 12 months and see lots of opportunities for sustained growth in the medium term, particularly with working with large energy retailers who have a large customer base,” Foggo said.

“These are partnerships we expect to ramp over time but it’s fair to say we will expect them to represent the lion’s share of our lending over the medium term.”

Foggo said Plenti represented the ideal partner for energy retailers looking to make the lending process as simple as possible, with the finance provided as zero interest loans.

“The retailers are paying a merchant fee to us so from a consumer’s perspective it is as simple as possible,” he said.

“From our perspective we don’t mind if it’s a loan, BNPL, or interest-free finance its really about making it as simple as possible.”


Pulling away from competitors

Plenti has become the first Australian fintech provider to reach the milestone of its loan portfolio surpassing the $1 billion mark, increasing to $1.1 billion on December 31, 2021.

The company has previously declared its ambitions of reaching $5bn by 2025. With a current run-rate of over $100 million a month, that goal is a realistic target.

Growth in Plenti’s automotive loan sector was supported by the rollout of its commercial automotive loan offering to additional broker partners and launch of its suite of EV (electric vehicle) finance products.

Plenti is offering a 50-basis point discount for EV loans on its already highly competitive combustion engine lending rates with the ability to borrow additional amounts to fund EV-related infrastructure such as chargers, downloadable vehicle upgrades and other accessories.

The company is also integrating discounted EV-specific insurance to its offering, featuring battery and charger damage cover, and developing an online portal providing information about EVs.

Furthermore, Plenti says the continuing growth in the personal lending segment is testament to the strengthening demand for personal loans.

However, Foggo said its focus is on EV, home solar and battery financing.

“We really want to have a positive influence on Australia’s environmental future and that’s across all of our business,” he said.

“We see ourselves as having an important role to play leveraging our technology and ability to innovate to help people transition to a cleaner energy future.”

This article was developed in collaboration with Plenti, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.