Introducing the Metrus SESA: An Interview with Anastasia Beckett

October 4th, 2020

Market Leadership

Metrus has recently launched a new product — a Sustainable Energy Services Agreement (pronounced S-E-S-A) which adheres to the company’s principle of efficiency first but also recognizes that clients are seeking comprehensive solutions that integrate things like solar, electric vehicle charging infrastructure and energy storage alongside energy efficiency. We talked with Metrus’ SVP of Sales Anastasia Beckett about what it means for Metrus and for its customers.

Why is Metrus launching the SESA now?

Here’s the short answer: this is what our customers want. They’ve been telling us for a while that they want to combine all of their energy projects under the same financing and billing structure. They want a streamlined solution that fits within the same holistic way that they see their operations. From the customer’s perspective, this makes sense — we just needed to meet them where they were already headed. If a customer is doing an energy project, it makes more sense for them to look at all types of energy upgrades from the start. So, if we’re financing efficiency measures onsite it’s a natural extension to finance EV charging at the same time as well as potentially looking at financing renewable generation assets. The SESA is all about addressing the whole sustainability ecosystem for our customers.

What does this mean for customers, and what will be different for them?

Now they’ll be able to look at everything: energy efficiency, solar, battery storage, EV charging etc., together and benefit from this added integration. For example, let’s say a customer decides to enter into a power purchase agreement for solar and then a year or two later decides to undertake an energy efficiency project. If the efficiency upgrades lower their demand for power, they might be stuck with an oversized solar PV array that they may not actually need. When you look at things in a combined manner, it makes more economic sense and better matches how a facility operates. We work with customers to do efficiency first, then layer on any kind of renewable generating assets or storage as a complement to that. When you only take one piece or the other, you’re not seeing the entire picture.

In what market (customer) segments does this play particularly well?

We’ve done a lot of work for C&I (commercial and industrial) customers and that will continue to grow. I think the SESA will expand customer interest and satisfaction, and it’s going to provide a solution that will be more widespread. A market segment where the as a service model is underutilized is in the public sector. The potential for the SESA is particularly important now with local governments, where there are decreases in budgets, cutting dollars that were earmarked toward energy upgrade projects. Meanwhile, these customers still need to reach sustainability goals; they still need to reduce operating expenses, but they can’t enter into any kind of debt arrangement. There’s also a misconception that there’s an unlimited supply of tax-exempt financing available for the public sector, and that’s really not the case. I think the SESA is a particularly good solution for this market segment.

What will a typical SESA project look like?

Each Metrus project is bespoke; what gets done depends on the customer’s needs. For example, maybe they already have solar but they’re looking to add storage and efficiency, or vice versa. We’ll meet with the customer to see what’s important to them, and then figure out if there’s something they haven’t thought of that could be a good fit for them. The end result is a fully customized solution for their particular situation and will likely include a mix of different efficiency upgrades and technologies.

Will you partner with different types of companies for SESA projects?

We are fortunate to have an existing base of great partners that we work with, and we’ll continue to work with them on these projects. We are always looking for new partners though and we are definitely interested in working with groups that have a specific area of expertise, such as implementing micro grids or EV charging infrastructure.

Any final thoughts?

We have always been a market leader. We are continuing to rise up, be flexible and meet what the market, and our customers, are demanding. Metrus already has the expertise to be able to finance integrated projects and we are comfortable working with very complex project scopes. We’d love to have a conversation about how we can help with your sustainability project.

This content was originally published on the Alliance to Save Energy’s website.