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Foresight seeks to power smart meter deployment with new investment

UK investor Foresight Group has sought to tempt investors into its new fund which is aiming to finance the UK’s roll out of smart meters.

Last week Foresight announced that Tranche A of the Foresight Smart Bonds Fund had launched, offering investors terms of one, two or three years at returns of between 4.07 and 4.83%.

It is seeking to raise up to £10 million which will be lent to companies that own, operate and rent installed smart meters to UK energy suppliers.

The fund builds on Foresight’s standing in the smart meter market. The investment group has so far placed £74 million of debt and equity into the market, installing more than 160,000 meters and establishing its own meter asset provider, Foresight Metering.

Smart meters have proven to be a highly contentious topic for the UK power market since the government set a deadline for their deployment to be completed. It wants every home and business to be offered a smart meter by 2020, however the programme is considerably behind schedule.

The country’s energy suppliers are also less than enthused about the onus of deployment being placed on them, with several of the so-called ‘Big Six’ having laid at least a portion of the blame for price hikes at the roll out’s door.

Nevertheless, smart meters have been lauded for their potential to deliver savings to consumers and will be a crucial element of potentially pivotal energy systems, particularly peer-to-peer power trading networks.

Bernard Fairman, chairman at Foresight, said: “Foresight has a specialist focus on energy infrastructure and energy efficiency combined with a proud tradition of innovation in creating investment solutions that respond to investors’ needs. 

“We manage funds for more than 22,000 private investors and for some of the world’s leading financial institutions, and our innovative Foresight Smart Bonds Fund is a good example of providing investors with market leading risk adjusted returns whilst improving the energy infrastructure across the UK. We call it investing for a smarter future.”