We help you make investments that matter. Here are the details.
Please note that many of these answers are simplified to help our investors better understand our investment products. In the case of CoPower Green Bonds, all investors should review our CoPower Green Bond Offering Memorandum which provides all material facts relating to the offering of CoPower Green Bonds.
Impact and responsible investing
What is impact investing?
Impact investing is a strategy that involves investing in companies or projects with the intention of generating measurable, positive social and environmental benefits alongside financial returns.
What is the difference between responsible investing and impact investing?
While responsible investing strategies often involve applying a passive screen, such as avoiding investment in harmful companies or sectors, for example tobacco, weapons or fossil fuels, impact investing actively seeks to invest in companies or projects with the intention of generating measurable positive social and environmental benefits alongside financial returns.
As an investment that supports the development of community-scale clean energy projects that are expected to reduce carbon pollution, while generating competitive returns, CoPower Green Bonds are considered impact investments.
What is a green bond?
Like a government or corporate bond, a green bond is a fixed-return debt investment. When an investor purchases a bond, the issuing institution, whether a government or a company, pledges to pay the initial investment back plus interest over a fixed period of time.
Green bonds specifically raise funds for projects or initiatives that offer environmental benefits. A government green bond for example may be used to finance the expansion of public transit.
CoPower Green Bonds raise funds to support the development of community-scale clean energy and energy efficiency projects across North America.
Investing with CoPower
How does CoPower work?
CoPower’s team of experts work with clean energy firms to identify clean energy or energy efficiency projects that generate steady, predictable revenue streams by either selling clean power or by reducing energy consumption. We run a robust due diligence process before making loans that financially enable the projects.
CoPower pools these loans into green investment products, like our flagship Green Bonds, that make it easy for investors to participate in these opportunities. Revenues from the projects are used to pay back CoPower investors over time, with interest. Investors can monitor their financial performance and impact using CoPower’s online platform. Please consult our Green Bond Offering Memorandum for details on our standard due diligence processes.
Browse our site to learn about the types of investment products we offer and some of the projects we’ve financed to date. An investor account is required to view full product offering details. Click the Get Started button to create an account.
What are the benefits of investing through CoPower?
We provide access to investment opportunities that have traditionally been limited to institutional and high-net-worth investors or those with specialized expertise in clean technologies. CoPower makes it easy for individual investors, pending a positive suitability assessment, to invest in clean energy and energy efficiency infrastructure projects.
By investing with CoPower you can earn competitive returns, diversify your portfolio, and have a positive impact on the climate. We make the process easy by allowing you to review investment opportunities, sign legal documents, make payments, and review your financial and impact performance, all through our secure online platform.
What types of investments does CoPower offer?
CoPower Green Bonds are fixed income products and are backed only by senior, secured loans (debt investments) to projects that are already built and operational, thereby mitigating risk for investors.
For accredited, including institutional investors, CoPower also offers bespoke direct investments in opportunities that fall outside of our CoPower Green Bond investment criteria. These may include higher yielding construction finance loans and/or project equity. For more information please contact email@example.com.
Who can invest?
CoPower offers investment opportunities for all types of investors -- from individuals to institutions -- pending positive suitability assessment.
CoPower Green Bonds are available to individual investors at a minimum of $5,000, pending a positive suitability assessment. Our current Green Bond investors include millennials making their first investment, grandparents investing on behalf of a grandchild, investment advisors making purchases for clients, and a major Canadian financial institution.
For Canadian accredited investors we also offer direct investment opportunities.
Our investment products are currently available in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Sasktachewan, Nova Scotia and Yukon, and will be available in all Canadian provinces and territories soon - please sign up for our mailing list or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to invest but we are not yet available in your province of residence. Our investment products are currently not available outside of Canada.
How can I see your offering documents?
To view our offering documents, please click the get started button to create an investor account on our platform. You will need to fill out the first phase of the investor application, telling us who you are, what province or territory you live in, and what category of investor you fall into.
You don't need to fill out the full investor application to gain access to materials, but we will need to collect that information before you are approved to view the offering documents.
How does CoPower make money?
We earn our revenues at the project level by charging a loan origination fee to the borrower. We also charge a management fee to CoPower Finance Inc., the subsidiary of CoPower Inc. that issues CoPower Green Bonds. This management fee is based on the "spread" -- that is to say, the variable difference between revenues from interest payments on loans and the fixed bond obligations. These revenues help us cover the cost of sourcing projects, structuring our green investment products and maintaining our online platform, among other costs.
How do you track the impact of investments?
Each quarter we report on the environmental impact of your investment. The environmental impact is based on internal calculations performed by CoPower relying in part on standardized carbon accounting methodology. We also rely on data from the projects and determine your individual contribution based on percentage of overall project cost.
For example, to calculate solar impact we use clean energy projections as determined by PVSyst, the industry standard. We then check this against actual monthly solar production numbers for our projects as reported by the utility companies. To calculate energy efficiency we use projections of how much electricity and natural gas will be saved by the retrofit as determined by an independent engineering report. We check this against actual savings as measured by an independent engineer after one year.
To calculate greenhouse gas emissions avoided we use conversion factors provided by Environment Canada’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report.
How do you process financial transactions securely?
The CoPower website does not perform any financial transactions. Authorization for transactions is obtained when you e-sign legal documents using the CoPower platform and Adobe Document Cloud. These authorization documents are used by CoPower and our bank (our shareholder, Royal Bank of Canada) to perform financial transactions off-line from our website. We only accept payments in the following forms:
In order for us to originate a pre-authorized debit, we are required to comply with the stringent security policies of both RBC and Payments Canada. For more information about the security of pre-authorized payments, please see Payment Canada's website here.
How do you safeguard my personal and financial information?
We use bank-level security to protect your data to keep your account information safe, including passwords and personal information. Our 128-bit SSL certificate encrypts all information transmitted between your browser and our web servers and the green lock in your browser’s address bar shows that your connection to CoPower’s website is encrypted and authenticated with TLS 1.2 -- a modern transmission security scheme.
CoPower documents and data are stored on best-in-class cloud computing services, such as Amazon Web Services and Adobe Document Cloud. These top-tier cloud services are in highly-secure sites, and are continually upgraded and monitored by trusted third parties, so are considered to be more secure and reliable than a local computer monitored by one company. We generally review the security policies of the services we use, and select services with optimal security features.
Our platform has been developed with numerous safeguards to help guard against the leakage of data. These include IP address-based session hijacking prevention, captcha forms, just-in-time decryption and other web security best practices.
We have also provided the option to each investor to enable two-factor-authentication on their CoPower investor account. 2FA is an additional layer of protection that significantly decreases the risk of a hacker accessing your online accounts by requiring you to enter both your password and a unique authentication code sent instantly to your mobile device via email or text message.
Investing in CoPower Green Bonds
Who can invest in CoPower Green Bonds?
CoPower Green Bonds are available to individual investors at a minimum of $5,000, pending a positive suitability assessment. Our current Green Bond investors include millennials making their first investment, grandparents investing on behalf of a grandchild and investment advisors at major institutions making purchases for clients.
CoPower Green Bonds are currently available in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and Yukon, and will be available in all Canadian provinces and territories soon - please sign up for our mailing list or contact us at email@example.com if you’d like to invest but CoPower Green Bonds are not yet available in your province of residence. Our investment products are currently not available outside of Canada.
Is there a minimum investment?
The minimum investment amount in CoPower Green Bonds is $5,000. Thereafter, investors can purchase bonds in increments of $1,000.
How and when will I see my returns on my Green Bond investment?
You will start earning interest immediately on the date that your CoPower Green Bonds are issued. CoPower Green Bonds are issued on the first day of every month.
If you select a simple interest bond, you will receive quarterly interest payments deposited directly into your bank account, and principal will be repaid at maturity.
If you select a compounding interest bond, each quarterly interest distribution will be re-invested into green bonds, and you will then earn interest on all interest accrued, as well as on your principal investment. In this case, all principal and interest would be repaid at maturity.
Is an investment in CoPower Green Bonds secure?
The project loans underlying CoPower Green Bonds are secured by part of the project assets. We are also careful to invest in projects we believe to be of high quality: clean energy projects in North America, that produce a steady revenue stream. We lend to projects where there is a strong counterparty (ie. end payer), and we require certain security mechanisms, such as insurance, warranties, and debt-service reserve funds, to further mitigate risk for our investors.
Investment criteria, risks and risk mitigation procedures are outlined in the Green Bond offering memorandum. All investors should read the Offering Memorandum before investing in CoPower Green Bonds.
How does CoPower make loans to the projects backing the Green Bond portfolio?
CoPower originates loans through trusted channel partners: energy firms with specialized development expertise that manage the installation process. Each project loan follows a standard due diligence exercise and checklist and is structured by our team of experts, with oversight provided by the Chief Investment Officer and support from experienced legal counsel.
We maintain a standard due diligence checklist which is adapted to suit the needs of each individual loan. CoPower’s due diligence typically includes a review of both the sponsor and the project in question.
CoPower will review the sponsor’s corporate history, background, development expertise, management team, financial performance, liabilities, conflicts of interest and share capitalization.
In terms of the project, CoPower will review and analyze financial projections and assumptions, the project development schedule, suppliers of technology and feedstock, operations, maintenance regulatory considerations, environmental problems or claims and insurance. Details regarding our due diligence process can be found in the CoPower Green Bond Offering Memorandum.
Are there any fees associated with investing in CoPower Green Bonds?
CoPower bears all issuing, management and administrative expenses of CoPower Green Bonds, so the projected return that we disclose is your expected net return. If you invest in CoPower Green Bonds directly via our platform there are no investor fees, period.
Note that if you are investing in CoPower Green Bonds via a registered account, a 0.5% annual capital raising fee has already been integrated into your interest rate. CoPower’s 5-Year registered account eligible bonds (Series B, Series F) offer a 4.5% annual interest rate, and CoPower’s 3-Year registered account eligible bonds (Series D, Series H) offer a 3% annual interest rate. Please inquire with your registered account custodian whether additional account administration fees, transfer fees or placement fees apply.
If you decide to provide payment by wire transfer or cheque instead of pre-authorized debit, a $25 processing fee may apply.
Can I invest through an RRSP or TFSA?
CoPower Green Bonds are eligible to be held in any registered account (ex. RRSP, TFSA, RESP, RRIF).
All CoPower clients can open a registered account at Olympia Trust, Questrade or Caldwell Securities and invest in CoPower Green Bonds. Certain administrative fees apply, and your financial institution may charge you fees for holding private placements on your behalf.
Can I invest via my own financial institution, advisor or brokerage?
While the majority of investors choose to invest directly through CoPower’s platform, there are growing number of financial institutions, wealth managers and online investment brokerages that have successfully facilitated CoPower Green Bond investments for their clients. If you don’t see your institution or wealth management firm on this list, get in touch with us and we’ll help you explore your options: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questrade: All CoPower investors can open an account at Questrade to purchase or hold CoPower Green Bonds in registered or non-registered accounts.
Caldwell Investment Management: All CoPower investors can open an account at Caldwell Securities to purchase or hold CoPower Green Bonds in registered or non-registered accounts.
MD Financial Management: Existing clients of MD Management may hold CoPower Green Bonds in registered or non-registered accounts.
Olympia Trust: All CoPower investors can open an account at Olympia Trust to purchase or hold CoPower Green Bonds in registered accounts.
It’s important to note that financial institutions each have different policies and possibly fees associated with holding private placements on your behalf. Ask your current account administrator about their private placement policies, or email email@example.com for more information.
Can I purchase CoPower Green Bond as a gift for someone else?
Yes, you can purchase CoPower Green Bonds as a gift. How this works will depend on your relationship with the recipient of the gift, and whether they are a minor. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Can I name a beneficiary for my CoPower Green Bonds?
Yes. CoPower Green Bonds may very well transfer with the holder’s estate, however, if you would like to name a specific beneficiary or beneficiaries please email email@example.com.
I’m an investment advisor. Can I buy CoPower Green Bonds or other investments on a client’s behalf?
Yes. CoPower Green Bonds can be purchased on a client’s behalf as a private placement. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Can I sell my Green Bonds?
No, CoPower Green Bonds are private investments and are not traded on any public exchange and cannot be easily sold or traded on a secondary market. Investors should be prepared to hold their bonds to maturity.