Terms by category

Smart Ease terms

Chattel Mortgage: a chattel mortgage is a loan that uses movable personal property, such as a car or a commercial solar array, as security for the payment of money or performance of some other act. The lender holds an ownership interest in the property, or chattel, until the loan is repaid.

Payment Plan: We use the term Payment Plan to describe either a Rental Agreement or a Chattel Mortgage. It is the simplest and most common agreement we provide.

Payment solution: We use this term to describe the full range of products we offer, including Payment Plans (both Rental Agreements and Chattel Mortgages) and PPAs (see below).

Rental agreement: a popular type of Payment Plan in which Smart Ease owns the equipment for the duration of the Payment Plan. The business customer can offer to buy it at the end of the term. This is typically a fully tax-deductible operating expense.

PPA (Power Purchase Agreement): An agreement between an organisation and a solar company in which the solar company installs a commercial solar system on their property at no upfront cost to the organisation. The organisation then buys the power generated by the solar panels at an agreed low rate (approx. $0.09−$0.15/kWh) from the solar company for the duration of the PPA.

The PPA provider takes care of all repairs, maintenance, and insurance.

SFA (Services Funding Agreement): a payment solution to fund consulting, training, installation, maintenance, and licences to implement smart technologies. Can be bundled with equipment, but the equipment element of the loan cannot comprise more than 25% of the total amount funded.

Finance terms

ABN: a unique 11-digit identifier issued by the Australian Business Register (ABR) which is operated by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Cash flow positive: Cash flow positive for a business means that it has generated more cash inflows than outflows during a given period, indicating that the business has enough cash to cover expenses, investments, and debt payments. This is an important financial indicator of a business’s ability to generate cash from its day-to-day operations and its overall financial stability.

Smart Ease payment solutions help businesses achieve this when repayments on their solar systems are LESS than their energy bills prior to installing the system.

Commodity: A commodity is a raw material or product that can be traded, like gold, oil, or wheat. These goods are usually produced in large quantities and sold on a global market, with their prices determined by how much of the commodity is available and how many people want to buy it. The prices can change depending on things like the weather, political events, and how the economy is doing.

Compound interest: interest calculated based on the principal balance and the accumulated interest from the previous periods. Used in most modern loan agreements. Makes the amount owed grow at a much faster rate than simple interest.

Depreciation: When a business purchases an asset, such as a vehicle or equipment, it is considered an investment. However, over time, the asset loses value due to various factors, such as regular use, aging, or changes in technology. This decrease in value is referred to as depreciation.

Fixed-price contracts: A contractual agreement with a predetermined value for the goods or services provided.

Instalment: A sum of money due as one of several equal payments for something, spread over an agreed period of time. Smart Ease instalments are due monthly. Also see Repayment.

Internal Rate of Return: The internal rate of return (IRR) is a tool used in financial analysis to estimate the profitability of potential investments. It defines the amount of profit a business will gain by investing in a project or equipment as a percentage. For example, an IRR of 12% means they will make a profit of 12% per year on any funds invested in the project.

Landlord waiver: A landlord waiver is a legal agreement where a landlord gives up certain rights and agrees to specific terms that allow their tenant to obtain financing for the property they are leasing. This document helps the tenant secure financing by ensuring the landlord won’t interfere with the process and may require the landlord to agree to certain conditions, like allowing the lender to inspect the property.

Novation: The substitution of a new contract for an old one. The new agreement extinguishes the rights and obligations that were in effect under the old agreement. A novation ordinarily arises when a new individual assumes an obligation to pay that was incurred by the original party to the contract, for e.g., when a building or business with solar panels is sold, the new business or building over may take over the Smart Ease agreement and continue repayments.

NZBN: NZBN stands for New Zealand Business Number. It is a unique 13-digit identifying number assigned to businesses in New Zealand to make it easier to do business with the government and other businesses. The Australian equivalent is an ABN.

OPEX and CAPEX: OPEX are the expenses a business incurs for its daily operations, while CAPEX are the expenses a business incurs for acquiring, upgrading, or maintaining long-term assets, and are treated differently for tax and accounting purposes.

Payback period: the amount of time it takes for an investment to generate enough cash flow to recover the initial cost of the investment. It is a simple measure of financial performance and is typically expressed in years. A shorter payback period is generally considered more desirable as it indicates a faster return on investment.

Repayment: an amount of money that is paid back: a loan/debt/interest repayment. See also instalment.

Simple interest: a type of interest calculation method where interest is earned only on the initial principal amount invested or borrowed, and not on any accumulated interest. The interest is calculated as a percentage of the principal amount and remains constant throughout the term of the investment or loan.

Tax deduction: When you do your tax return, you can claim most business expenses as tax deductions to reduce your taxable income. This is the same for organisations, who can claim most expenses involved in running your business. These expenses must relate directly to earning the business income relate to purchases made for the business, not for private use if the expense is for a mix of business and private use, businesses can only claim the portion that was used for the business have records to substantiate the claim.

Sustainability terms

ACCU: Australian Carbon Credit Unit. An ACCU represents one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2-e) stored or avoided by a project.

Carbon units: a measure of carbon emissions that can be bought, sold, or traded on carbon markets to support greenhouse gas reduction efforts.

Carbon abatement: Carbon abatement is the reduction of the amount of carbon dioxide that is produced when coal and oil are burned. Various technologies exist which enable this – collectively, these are called CATs (carbon abatement technologies).

CER: Clean Energy Regulator – The Clean Energy Regulator is the Government body responsible for administering legislation to reduce carbon emissions and increase the use of clean energy.

Fossil fuels: are non-renewable energy sources, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, that were formed over millions of years from the remains of dead plants and animals. Burning these fuels to generate energy releases emissions which, science has shown, are causing the climate crisis.

Energy terms

ACP: Accredited Certificate Provider, an individual company that is authorised by the NSW Government’s Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to create energy savings certificates to trade for financial incentives.

AC & DC: AC and DC are two types of electrical current used to power electrical devices. AC periodically changes direction and is used in homes and businesses, while DC flows in one direction and is often used in electronics and batteries.

AER: The Australian Energy Regulator makes decisions that promote efficient investment in, and efficient operation and use of, energy services for the long-term interests of energy consumers.

Array: In the context of solar energy, an array refers to a group or series of solar panels that are connected to generate electricity from sunlight. Solar arrays can range in size from small rooftop installations on homes to large-scale solar installations that cover several acres.

Azimuth: The direction the solar panels face. Eg. 0 degrees is true north, 90 degrees is due east.

Certificates: These vary between state run and federal run schemes, but it is generally a unit of measurement to indicate an amount of energy saved, that can be traded or sold for a market value.

CEC: The Clean Energy Council is the peak body for the clean energy industry in Australia. Its members agree to a code of conduct in order to become accredited installers and retailers.

CO2e: a metric measure used to compare emissions from various greenhouse gases based on their global warming potential by converting amounts of other gases to the equivalent amount of CO2.

C&I: Stands for “Commercial and Industrial” and refers to businesses, organizations, and institutions that are engaged in commercial and industrial activities, such as manufacturing, construction, and services. C&I is a common term in the energy industry to differentiate these customers from residential or small business customers.

Decommissioning: Decommissioning ensures that the old system cannot be used again. This may involve piercing a hole in the tank for hot water upgrades or taking the unit to a recycler or scrap metal dealer for lighting. Simply disconnecting the old unit is not considered decommissioning as it could be reconnected again.

Demand charges: fees that utilities charge based on the highest amount of electricity a customer uses at any given time during a billing period, separate from charges for the total amount used. These charges help utilities cover costs associated with meeting peak electricity demand.

Energy efficiency: using less energy to perform the same job.

ESC: Energy Savings Certificate (for NSW schemes), or Essential Services Commission (the Victorian schemes regulator)

ESS: The NSW Energy Savings Scheme, providing financial incentives to install energy-efficient equipment and appliances in NSW households and businesses.

EV Council: The Australian Electric Vehicle Council launched in May 2017. It represents its members involved in producing, powering, and supporting electric vehicles. Its mission is “to accelerate the electrification of road transport for a more sustainable and prosperous Australia”.

FCAS: stands for “Frequency Control Ancillary Services,” which are services that help maintain the balance of electricity supply and demand on the grid, specifically by managing the frequency of the grid within acceptable limits. FCAS includes frequency control, contingency services, and regulation services, and is provided by specialized generators and/or demand-side resources.

Feed-in data: is information related to the measurement and tracking of the amount of renewable energy that is fed into the grid by renewable energy systems, as well as the payment or credit that may be given to the owner of the system for this contribution.

Feed-in tariff (FIT): a policy mechanism that promotes the development of renewable energy by providing financial incentives to individuals or organizations that generate renewable energy and feed it into the grid.

Gj: Gigajoule, a unit of energy used to measure electricity and gas. Often used in the South Australian energy schemes.

Heat Pump: a device that circulates refrigerant through a cycle of condensation and evaporation to convert energy stored in the air into efficient heating.

HVAC: Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.

Hydrogen: can be used as a fuel in a variety of applications, including powering vehicles and generating electricity. When hydrogen is burned, the only by-product is water, making it a potentially clean and environmentally friendly fuel source, dependent on how it is produced. Green Hydrogen is Hydrogen which has been produced using renewable energy.
Hydrogen is currently expensive to produce and store, and widespread adoption of hydrogen as a fuel will require significant advancements in technology and infrastructure.

IHEAB: Installation of High Efficiency Appliance for Business, a method of the ESS run by the NSW Government with financial incentives available for the installation of high efficiency appliances for businesses.

Inverter: A piece of equipment in every solar system that safely converts DC power (direct current) to AC power (alternating current).

kW: Kilowatt, a unit of energy commonly used as a billing measurement for electricity. Often used in Victoria, New South Wales and federal energy saving schemes. 1kW = 1000 W

kWh: the total amount of energy used or produced over a period of time.

LGC: Large-scale Generation Certificates are renewable energy certificates offered under the federal Renewable Energy Target (RET) for large scale energy saving projects generating >100kW of energy. They’re an accounting instrument which tracks every mWh of renewable electricity from generation to the final consumer. LGCs are created and traded until 2030 and are created by verifying the amount of energy generated by your system.

Microgrid: a localized energy system that can operate independently or in conjunction with the main power grid, using various power sources such as solar panels, wind turbines, or batteries. They offer greater energy resilience and flexibility and can reduce costs and improve efficiency of energy supply.

MW: 100,000 watts

On-bill: “On-bill” typically refers to a billing method where the cost of a service or product is added to a customer’s existing bill for another service or product. For example, some utility companies offer on-bill financing for energy-efficient upgrades or renewable energy installations.

PDRS: Peak Demand Reduction Scheme, a NSW strategy to reduce peak demand for energy through financial incentives. The outlined peak period is currently defined as 2:30pm-8:30pm AEDT from the 1st of November to the 31st of March each year.

PRC: Peak Reduction Certificate, a certificate created through various upgrades and activities within the PDRS.

Photovoltaic (PV): refers to a technology that converts sunlight directly into electricity using semiconducting materials, such as silicon. PV cells are typically made into solar panels that can be mounted on rooftops or other structures to generate electricity from sunlight. PV technology is widely used in the renewable energy sector to produce clean and sustainable electricity and has become increasingly cost-effective and efficient over time.

Rebate: An Energy Rebate provides a partial refund to customers who replace existing inefficient products, and sometimes when they install new, energy efficient technology. This can be provided in an upfront discount, or as ‘delayed cash’.

REPS: (formally REES) The Retailer Energy Productivity Scheme is an SA government initiative to encourage households and businesses to reduce energy consumption and costs, often with financial incentives for energy saving and energy efficiency projects.

RET: Renewable Energy Target scheme encourages electricity generation from renewable sources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity sector, run by the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources.

SEC: Smart Energy Council – The Smart Energy Council is the peak industry body for the solar, storage and smart energy management in Australia.

Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES): this scheme provides a financial incentive for households and businesses to install eligible small-scale renewable energy systems (systems). Examples include solar panel systems, small-scale wind systems, small-scale hydro systems, solar water heaters and air source heat pumps.

STC: Small-scale Technology Certificates are generated under the federal Renewable Energy Target (RET) for eligible energy saving activities and are used to offset some or all of the cost of an energy upgrade project.

Tariff: In energy, a tariff refers to how you are charged for electricity or gas usage – the variable part of your bill. It is the amount you pay for each unit of gas or electricity consumed, usually listed as cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh) for electricity use and cents per megajoule (c/MJ) for gas.

Transformer: A transformer can convert the 120v electrical currently supplied from your house down to the 12v/other voltage needed for individual light fittings. Common with halogen downlights.

VEEC: Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates are created by measuring the energy savings from the upgrade you are undertaking, in MW. The MW reduction is then converted into C02 tonnes and multiplied by 9.9 years to determine the number of certificates generated by the energy saving activity, which is then used to offset some or all of the cost of the energy upgrade project.

VEET: Victorian Energy Efficiency Target

VEU: Victorian Energy Upgrades Program, run by the Victorian Government’s Essential Services Commission, offering financial incentives to make energy efficiency projects more affordable, and to reduce long term energy consumption.

Virtual Power Plant (VPP): a network of energy-generating units, like solar panels and batteries, that are linked together and managed as a single unit to provide electricity to the grid. VPPs use technology to optimize the output of each unit and to respond quickly to changes in energy demand and supply. They can help integrate renewable energy into the grid, improve grid stability, and provide financial benefits to participating households and businesses.

ZERL: Zoned Energy Rating Labels provide consumers and advisors with information relating to product energy efficiency and other key performance attributes relevant to their location.

Other terms

API: an API, or Application Programming Interface, is a way for two computer programs to communicate with each other. They allow different programs to work together and exchange information in a standardized way, without needing to know the underlying details of how the other program works.

Blockchain: a technology that allows information to be securely shared and stored across many computers. It’s like a digital ledger that records transactions, such as buying and selling, without needing a bank or other middleman. Each record, or “block,” is verified by many computers, making it nearly impossible to change or hack. Blockchain has many potential uses, such as improving online security, creating digital currencies, and making supply chains more efficient.

D&C: typically refers to “Design and Construction.” This term is often used in construction contracts to describe a type of project delivery method where the contractor is responsible for both the design and construction of the project.

Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract: a type of construction contract in which the contractor is responsible for designing, procuring, and constructing a project, and delivering it to the client on a turnkey basis. The contract sets a fixed price for the project and the contractor bears the risk of cost overruns and delays.

Internet of Things (IoT): refers to a network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other objects that are embedded with sensors, software, and connectivity, allowing them to collect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the internet.

O&M: Acronym for “Operations and Maintenance”. It refers to the management and maintenance of the day-to-day operations of a system or organization. This can include tasks such as monitoring equipment, conducting routine maintenance, managing resources, and ensuring that operations are running smoothly and efficiently.

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM): a company that designs and manufactures components or products that are then marketed and sold under another company’s brand name. For example, a computer manufacturer may use OEM components, such as a motherboard or hard drive, that were designed and manufactured by another company but are sold under the computer manufacturer’s brand.

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol): a technology that allows you to make phone calls over the internet instead of using traditional phone lines. With VoIP, your voice is converted into digital data and sent over the internet, allowing you to make calls from your computer, smartphone, or other internet-connected devices. This can be a cost-effective and convenient way to make phone calls, especially for long-distance or international calls.

No financials or landlord’s waivers are required for transactions of less than $150,000 ex GST. All applications to Energy Lease Pty. Ltd. trading as Smart Ease are subject to normal approval criteria, and terms and conditions apply.

^ The information above is not an expression of opinion or recommendation and does not constitute financial, accounting, taxation, general advice and should not be relied upon as such. Savings are indicative only and depend on several factors. Your solar specialist can discuss tis with you. Energy Lease Pty. Ltd. trading as Smart Ease accepts no liability or responsibility for any actions or inactions from third parties, including but not limited to equipment suppliers and installers.

^^ $750 plus GST at the time of publication; fee is subject to change.