EDF’s Investor Confidence Project Helps Achieve The Potential Of Energy Efficiency

This blog post was written by guest blogger Matt Golden, Senior Energy Finance Consultant.

The EDF Investor Confidence Project (ICP) has been a two-year process to help standardize the commercial energy efficiency industry. Working with a wide range of project advisors, the first set of protocols designed for large commercial building projects are now available for a public beta on our website www.EEperformance.org. The goal is to simplify the process of creating an investment-quality energy efficiency project, reducing engineering-related transaction costs and increasing deal flow and savings.

We believe that the Investor Confidence Project represents a “silver buckshot” that, when combined with other efforts underway such as On-bill repayment (OBR), Commercial PACE and benchmarking programs, can help deliver a sustainable, private capital-driven market.  This will help spur economic development in these challenging times and achieve the potential of energy efficiency as a clean and cost-effective climate and energy policy.

While there are many technical standards regarding how to engineer various aspects of a project, we currently lack a meta layer that creates standardization at the project level. Ultimately, a project’s performance is only as good as the sum of its parts. The ICP protocols are combinations of the existing technical standards in the market, offering clear definitions for how a project is engineered, documented and ultimately measured. In the short-run, this can greatly accelerate channels and increase volume, and, over the long-term, can lead to increased access to lower-cost capital.

The Investor Confidence Project is happy to announce (and thank) our new ICP Allies, who have committed to piloting the ICP protocols in 2013. SciEnergy, Energi, Sustainable Real Estate Solutions, Bright Power, The Association for Energy Affordability, kWhOURS, Inc., Performance Systems Development, Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority, Rocky Mountain Institute, Institute for Market Transformation, The Centre for Building Performance and the Building Energy Retrofit Institute are moving towards adopting the ICP Energy Efficiency Performance Protocol for Large Commercial Projects as their preferred method for estimating, measuring and reporting savings for large commercial projects.

We have been experiencing a ground swell of support coming from both public programs and market players, who have been instrumental in helping us identify this critical need and develop a set of protocols that balance engineering best practices with market-based realities. While ICP initially focused on financial investors as the key customers, we are now seeing a wide variety of users, including utilities, public programs, insurers and energy service companies, in addition to equity and debt investors and of course building owners.

As we roll-out this initiative in 2013 and achieve critical mass, our focus is now on gaining real-world feedback. We are also embarking on developing two additional protocols tailored to multi-family building retrofits and smaller commercial projects. If you are interested in learning more, or getting involved, please let us know by visiting the ICP website for more details about the project and our Large Commercial protocol.

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