Finally, a Green Bond for individual investors!
CoPower is Canada’s first online platform for clean energy investing. Earlier this month, the company launched their public platform and first Green Bond. Ethiquette interviewed Trish Nixon, Director of Investments for CoPower on the launch of the Green Bond.
Tell us about CoPower — how it started and what you plan to achieve.
Whether or not they’re prepared to divest from fossil fuels today, most investors can see the writing on the wall: we are shifting rapidly to a world powered by renewable energy. CoPower is our response to this incredible opportunity.
Founded in 2013 by David Berliner and Raphael Bouskila, our mission is to make clean energy investments available to all Canadians through our easy to use online platform. We’re inspired by the idea of a clean energy economy built by ordinary people, not only large institutional investors.
With this in mind, we’ve designed the CoPower Green Bond to overcome two major obstacles to building that future. First, we’re accelerating the development of renewable energy infrastructure by providing loans to projects that might not otherwise get built because of high upfront capital costs. Second, we’re unlocking capital by making investments accessible to individual investors who have traditionally been excluded from meaningful participation in the clean energy economy due to prohibitively high minimum investment requirements.
At CoPower, we believe Canadians like us – people who care about their portfolios, their communities, and their environment – should have the opportunity to invest according to their values and not despite them.
Tell us a bit about the CoPower Green Bond and what an investor’s money would be supporting.
CoPower’s first Green Bond is backed by two senior, secured loans to clean energy infrastructure projects in Ontario. These projects are already operational, generating both strong financial returns and greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
The first is a project Torontonians will be proud to support: energy efficiency upgrades at the Harbourfront Centre in downtown Toronto. Energy bill savings from the upgrades, which include LED lighting and building automation, are being used to repay the loan while providing long-term benefits to one of Toronto’s much-loved cultural institutions. The project reduces the use of electricity and natural gas, avoiding the release of ~42 tonnes of C02 per year. This is the carbon equivalent of taking 8 cars off the road.
The second is the Windsor Rooftop Solar, a 168 kW portfolio of solar rooftops projects developed by Oya Solar in Windsor, Ontario. The power produced by these projects will be purchased by the Ontario Power Authority via a twenty-year Power Purchase Agreement, and will provide enough clean energy to power twenty homes per year.
Who can (and who should) invest in the CoPower Bond?
Our bondholders range from long-time investors who are looking to diversify their portfolios with secure, ethical, financial products that are uncorrelated to the public markets, to climate-conscious millennials making investments for the first time. What all our investors have in common is a desire to align their values and investment decisions and be part of building a clean energy future.
CoPower’s goal is to make clean energy investing easy and accessible to Canadian investors of all sizes. That’s why we’re doing the heavy lifting, helping investors overcome the obstacles normally associated with clean energy investing. Our experts perform the financial analysis, vetting, legal structuring, loan security registration and risk mitigation so that you can feel confident in your choice to invest with us.
What are the terms of the investment?
CoPower Green Bond I is accessible at a minimum investment of $5,000, offers five per cent (5%) annual returns on a five-year term, blended distributions (principal and interest) paid quarterly. Through our online platform bondholders will be able to track both the financial, social and environmental performance of their investments.
Where, or through whom, can someone purchase it?
CoPower’s online investment platform makes purchasing a Green Bond easy. Investors can register directly on our site Copower.me to review offerings, invest, and monitor both their financial performance and environmental impact online.
Regardless or whether you’re an experience investor or doing this for the first time, our team is committed to simplifying the investment process and we’ll be here to guide you through each step.
Green Bond I is available for purchase through the month of February, or until it sells out! If you miss out on this first round, please sign up and be the first to know about Green Bond II, coming soon.