Author Archives: Guest Author

2015 was a Record Year for PACE in Texas

By: Charlene Heydinger, Executive Director, Keeping PACE in Texas

htown skyline-720075_640 pixabayAs a bustling metropolis and the biggest city in Texas, Houston has a lot of buildings – and that equals a lot of opportunity to make these facilities more energy- and water-efficient.

Houston grabbed headlines last month when it became the first in Texas to adopt a citywide Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. PACE will help Houston building owners undertake much-needed water and energy efficiency improvements through private financing – all without having to worry about steep upfront costs. This move means substantial economic development potential, in addition to environmental benefits, for the nation's fourth largest city.

It’s also a sign this innovative clean energy finance tool is catching fire in Texas: Houston joins Austin’s Travis County, which embraced PACE in March, and a Dallas city ordinance is just on the horizon. Additionally, Cameron and Willacy Counties expect to bring PACE to the Rio Grande Valley in January.

2015 marks a record year for the PACE finance approach across Texas, and interest is growing in several other counties. Even better, all are following the stakeholder-designed PACE in a Box model toolkit – meaning PACE is uniform, user-friendly, and market-based throughout the state. Read More »

Posted in Energy Efficiency, Energy Financing, Texas| Comments are closed

Building Energy Retrofits Just got a lot Easier with this New Toolkit

toolsBy: Karen Penafiel, Vice President, Advocacy, BOMA International

At its Every Building Conference this summer, the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International announced the relaunch of its BOMA Energy Performance (BEPC) toolkit.  BEPC is an industry-vetted, proven process to plan, procure, and implement performance-driven building retrofits that has been used in successful projects around the world. For this reason, BEPC and the Investor Confidence Project (ICP) are a “natural fit.”

ICP, an Environmental Defense Fund initiative designed to unlock investment in energy efficiency, is accelerating the development of a global energy efficiency market by standardizing how projects are developed and energy savings are calculated. Together, BEPC and ICP can be used to execute successful, reliable, investment-grade energy retrofit projects from concept through measurement and verification.

ICP’s Roadmap to Investor Confidence lays out six major steps in the project development cycle: origination, project development, quality assurance, certification, underwriting, contracting, and performance. BEPC includes a flexible framework and supporting toolkit of template documents that can assist building owners, operators, and program managers at each stage of this process. Two key areas where the BEPC toolkit is particularly useful in the ICP project development cycle are: Read More »

Posted in California, Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Financing, Investor Confidence Project| Tagged , , , , | Read 1 Response

America’s Renewables: Increasingly the Low-Cost Option

By: Nancy E. Pfund, Managing Partner of DBL Investors, and Anand Chhabra, former Summer Associate at DBL Investors and current JD/MBA Candidate at Stanford University

https://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/7556615906/Does more renewable energy mean more expensive electricity? In the nation’s debate on energy, few questions are more important to American families and businesses.

Many critics of renewables allege skyrocketing electricity prices and economic crisis, owing to growing reliance on renewables. This commentary has emphasized “exploding electricity prices,” an “attack on any state’s economy,” and “gouging job creators and American families with higher electricity bills.”

Wait, what?

In our report, Renewables Are Driving Up Electricity Prices – Wait What?, we address this concern directly by assessing average retail electricity prices in the U.S., with a particular focus on whether states rely a lot or a little on renewables. What we discovered is that many of the fears espoused by critics of renewable energy are overblown. Read More »

Posted in Clean Energy, Electricity Pricing, Renewable Energy| Comments are closed

Community Choice Programs Empower Electricity Customers in New York and Beyond

By: Paul Fenn, Founder and President of Local Power Inc.

solar panelNew York has embarked on a major energy reform that will change the way electricity is produced, distributed, and priced in the state. The effort, called ‘Reforming the Energy Vision’ (REV) has the potential to scale up the use of local renewable energy resources and widely deploy energy efficiency technologies, reduce energy bills, and give customers greater control over their energy use.

New York’s REV effort would change the longstanding utility business model that relies on a one-way, centralized power grid delivering electricity to customers, most of it generated by aging, polluting power plants. Under this model, the environmentally-conscious customer has little say over how her energy is produced. Read More »

Posted in California, Clean Energy, Energy Financing, Grid Modernization, New York, Renewable Energy, Utility Business Models| Comments are closed

Need Help Funding a Retrofit? Use an Efficiency Services Agreement

By Scott Henderson, Advisor to Metrus Energy

BuildingWhile many in the clean energy industry are familiar with the use of power purchase agreements (PPA) to finance solar energy systems at commercial and industrial facilities, many may be surprised to know that there is a similar contract for funding energy efficiency retrofit projects. Called an efficiency services agreement (ESA), this contract was designed to address the challenges, or “pain points,” that building owners commonly face when contemplating such projects.

Like a PPA, an efficiency services agreement enables third-party ownership of a project, in which a developer designs, finances, implements, and owns a package of energy and water efficiency measures at a customer facility. In return for implementing the project, the ESA provider charges the customer for any realized savings, at a rate that is less than their current cost of electricity, gas, or water. This continues until the end of the contract period, typically 10 years, upon which time the customer can renew the contract or purchase the equipment at fair market value. Read More »

Posted in Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Financing, Investor Confidence Project| Comments are closed

Kentucky Adopts Innovative PACE Clean Energy Financing Tool

By: Jeremy Faust, Strategic Business Development Director, Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance

kentuckyIn a surprising show of bi-partisanship, lawmakers in one of the nation’s more conservative states came together last month to approve a major victory for clean energy.

Kentucky became the latest state in the country to approve PACE (Property-Assessed Clean Energy), an innovative financing tool that allows cities to use their property taxes as a way to finance clean energy upgrades to buildings.

PACE’s unique structure and benefits have helped spur the proliferation of PACE programs around the county. As a result, the market for PACE financing is estimated to rise above $1 billion this year.

Kentucky has authorized businesses and other commercial property owners in the state to apply for PACE financing, which can be used for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water efficiency improvements to their buildings. The victory comes after a two-year legislative effort led by the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance and the Kentucky Energy Project Assessment Districts (EPAD) Council. Read More »

Posted in Clean Energy, Energy Financing| Tagged | Read 2 Responses
  • From time to time, EDF invites top experts to author guest posts. Since these authors vary, we use this standard author bio profile for guest posts. For more information about this author, please see his/her short bio at the end of this post.

  • About this Blog

    EDF Energy Exchange - Accelerating the clean energy revolution

    EDF's energy experts discuss how to accelerate the transition to a clean, low-carbon energy economy.

    Follow EDFEnergyEX

  • Get blog posts by email

    Subscribe via RSS

  • Categories

  • Authors