Investor Confidence Project Gains Momentum in 2014, Poised for Even More Success in 2015

ICP Logo newestThe Investor Confidence Project (ICP), an EDF initiative designed to unlock investment in energy efficiency, experienced significant momentum in 2014. By gaining support in key states across the country as well as expanding to Europe, ICP laid the groundwork for even more successes in 2015.

Through ICP, EDF is accelerating the development of a global energy efficiency market by standardizing how energy efficiency projects are developed and energy savings are calculated.

In virtually all established markets, from car loans to home mortgages, standardization in how projects are structured and documented has helped to accelerate underwriting and create a vibrant secondary market, reducing long-term liability and spurring investment. The potential energy efficiency market is estimated at $1 trillion, but in order to realize a fraction of this market, the energy efficiency industry will need to leverage standardization to scale to this level.

The ICP system offers a series of protocols that define industry best practices for energy efficiency project development and a credentialing system that provides third-party validation. This leads to increased confidence among building owners and investors in the reliability of projected savings.

By standardizing the process by which energy efficiency projects are developed and measured – and creating a new Investor Ready Energy Efficiency™ asset class as an end result – investors can more easily finance energy efficiency projects and have more confidence in the energy and financial savings expected from these projects.

Key support from states

Earlier this year, Texas adopted ICP’s energy efficiency protocols as part of a do-it-yourself toolkit for using PACE (Property-Assessed Clean Energy) – called PACE-In-a-Box – that will officially be rolled out statewide in 2015. PACE will enable the state’s local governments to use their property assessment as a way to finance clean energy and energy efficiency projects for industrial, agriculture, water, and commercial buildings.

To help local authorities understand the complex PACE adoption process, Keeping PACE in Texas, a non-profit devoted to bringing PACE programs to Texas, developed the PACE-In-a-Box toolkit. This toolkit establishes the ICP protocols as its recommended standard for developing projects, estimating energy and financial savings, and documenting and verifying results.

EDF is also in ongoing discussions with key state and local officials across the country – from California to New Jersey and New York – who are exploring the integration of ICP into their energy efficiency programs.

Investor Confidence Project Europe rollout

The energy efficiency initiative also gained traction overseas in the fall of 2014 with the rollout of the Investor Confidence Project Europe (ICP Europe), a move that could help Europe meet its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 90 percent from buildings by 2050.

Estimates project that large-scale European energy efficiency efforts could reduce carbon emissions by 932 million metric tons, equivalent to taking nearly 200 million cars off the road and creating more than a million jobs in the building industry by 2050.

ICP Europe has already gained support from a powerful pan-European coalition of private-sector banks, development banks, investors, property owners, energy efficiency companies, and government agencies. ICP Europe’s steering group includes: ING Bank, Green Investment Bank, eu.ESCO, Plus Ultra Asset Management, ARUP, EuroACE, RdA Climate Solutions, Siemens, E.ON, Building Performance Institute of Europe, and Climate Strategy.

ICP releases key credentials

The ICP system includes not just a set of protocols for developing energy efficiency projects, but also a credentialing system that provides third-party validation. This past year, the Investor Confidence Project made great strides in assembling this credentialing system by releasing two key components: the Software Provider Credential and the Project Developer Credential.

The Software Provider Credential will help standardize the documentation of energy efficiency projects by credentialing software firms who have developed ICP-compliant software applications supporting the workflow for creating Investor Ready Energy Efficiency™ projects. Six firms have already received the Software Provider Credential: Performance Systems Development, Noesis Energy, Sustainable Real Estate Solutions, Encentiv Energy, HELiOS Building Efficiency, and the National Electrical Contractors Association’s ECAP Platform.

The Investor Confidence Project also recently launched a credential for project developers who are able to properly deploy the ICP protocols when undertaking an energy efficiency retrofit.

This latest development is an important step forward for investors of all types, especially building owners, who can now select developers from a growing list of credentialed providers. Four entities have already received the new Project Developer Credential: Association for Energy Affordability, Environmental Building Strategies, Swinterton Builders, and H.T. Lyons, Inc.

The Investor Confidence Project plans to release the last of its three credentials, the Quality Assurance Credential, in the coming year. Projects that conform to the requirements of the ICP protocols, originate from a credentialed project developer, and are verified by a credential quality assurance provider are referred to as Investor Ready Energy Efficiency™ projects.

In addition to the credentials, the Investor Confidence Project also issued a ‘soup-to-nuts’ guide for executing each step in the ICP protocols, called the Project Development Specification.

We are proud of our growing support from energy efficiency industry leaders here in the U.S. and abroad, and now, with a robust third-party credentialing system, we expect to see even bigger wins in 2015.

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