Central Energy Trust (CET) was established in 1993 following the break-up and sell-down of local power companies. It allocates funds to energy-related projects that benefit consumers of the former companies.
Instead of becoming involved in a commercial enterprise themselves the CET set up a seeding fund to encourage others with innovative ideas who needed a helping hand.
In 2012, CET allocated BCC $500,000 to be paid out over three years. By the time the third tranche of money is paid out, CET expects some of the first tranche will be repaid. CET expects the fund will be self-sustaining and revolving, allowing BCC to continue to encourage others with potentially commercially viable ideas to ‘give it a go’.
CET’s investment allows BCC to assist start-ups at an early stage of their development. The money buys start-ups time and allows new, and thus relatively risky, products and technologies to go to market.
CET assists BCC companies
BioLumic, a privately held start-up company in Palmerston North was the first recipient of CET funds through BCC. BioLumic is developing technologies that use UV light for large commercial growing systems worldwide. BioLumic ticked CET’s boxes: it is based on energy and has developmental and employment potential.
Funding for the computerised calf feeding system called Calf SMART was approved in the 2014 investment round. Calf SMART is creating an automated, cloud-based calf rearing system for the dairy and beef industry.