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Desjardins launches new kind of loan to improve energy efficiency of businesses

It was made official last week that businesses in Quebec that want to make a real reduction in their greenhouse gas emissions by using less polluting energy sources, will be able to take out energy-efficiency loans from Desjardins.

Businesses that plan to take measures to reduce their impact on the environment will now be able to have such projects financed, 100 per cent, by Desjardins. To be eligible, businesses must first receive a grant for energy-efficiency projects from Hydro Québec, the Agence de l'efficacité énergétique or the Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ).

The amount to be repaid is flexible and will be determined based on an evaluation of how much the work to be done will generate savings for the business. Businesses will be eligible for reimbursement holidays of up to six months, allowing time for installation work to take place. In such cases, only interest will have to be paid.

"By granting capital reimbursement holidays and offering advantageous flexibility on loan repayment, we will help businesses do the work they want to do while reducing the impact on their liquid assets," says Stéphane Achard, Senior Vice-President and General Manager of Business and Institutional Services at Desjardins.

Desjardins will also recognize and reward good businesses practices. Remuneration in the form of carbon credits equivalent to 50 basis points (0.5%) on the balance of the loan will be paid on December 31 of each year.

These amounts to be paid out by Desjardins will be from energy-efficiency, sustainable energy and point-of-use treatment projects as carbon credits to be purchased on behalf of businesses.

"This is a way for us to make a significant contribution to the major problem of climate change. Thanks to this initiative, we hope to compensate for thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)," concluded Achard.

For more information, visit www.desjardins.com.