Category Archives: Investor Confidence Project

EDF Helps Standardize Energy Efficiency Projects in Texas

By: Matt Golden, Senior Energy Finance Consultant

Texas Pace In A BoxTexas currently has the highest rate of energy consumption of any U.S. state and accounts for 10% of the country’s total energy consumption. Most of that energy goes to energy-intensive industries, such as aluminum, chemicals, forest products, glass, and petroleum refining, which consume 50% of the state’s energy, compared with a national average of 32%.

Last year, the Texas legislature passed statewide legislation enabling cities to use their property taxes as a way to finance clean energy and energy efficiency for industrial, agriculture, water, and commercial buildings. This innovative financing tool, generally referred to as property-assessed clean energy (PACE), has the potential to unlock a considerable amount of funding for both renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in the state, while simultaneously offering building owners cheaper financing options and secure repayment through their property tax assessment. Read More »

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LA Better Building Challenge Partners with EDF’s Investor Confidence Project to Accelerate Citywide Energy Efficiency Goals

By: Matt Golden, Senior Energy Finance Consultant


Source: LA Better Buildings Challenge

Source: LA Better Buildings Challenge

Environmental Defense Fund’s Investor Confidence ProjectSM (ICP) is pleased to announce a partnership with the Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge to help develop a more robust marketplace for energy efficiency retrofits in the city. Los Angeles has set a goal of achieving 20% energy savings across 30 million square feet of existing buildings by 2020 as part of the Better Buildings Challenge, a national leadership initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. If achieved, it is estimated that this 20% reduction in energy costs will create over 7,000 high-quality local jobs, and avert annual carbon emissions equivalent to taking more than 18,000 cars off the road.

The LA Better Buildings Challenge will be promoting the ICP Protocols through its network of building owners and industry stakeholders to help bring even greater transparency and accountability to the energy efficiency market by introducing a system of standardization in the way commercial building retrofits are developed, funded, and managed. The ICP framework assembles best practices and existing technical standards into a set of protocols that define a clear roadmap for developing projects, determining savings estimates, and documenting and verifying results. Read More »

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Conference on Clean Energy Financing Signals a Shift in Funding the Low-Carbon Economy

Source: eProGuide

Source: eProGuide

In 2010, I began working on financial policy at EDF. Our objective was to implement policies that would allow private sector companies to profitably deliver financing solutions to residential and commercial property owners footing the upfront cost of money-saving energy efficiency and clean distributed generation (such as rooftop solar) projects. While the residential solar market was already gaining steam at the time, most of the other markets had very limited momentum. But after attending the clean energy finance conference that EDF co-hosted yesterday with Citi, energy efficiency solutions provider Elevate Energy, and law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, it appears that the market for financing clean energy projects is beginning to accelerate rapidly.

The agenda featured 12 private companies from the clean energy sector (Kilowatt Financial, Clean Power Finance, Renovate America, AFC First Financial Corp., Renewable Funding, Clean Fund, Joule Assets, Noesis Energy, SCIEnergy, Metrus Energy, Hannon Armstrong, and Honest Buildings), plus a few more in the audience, that are executing a wide range of transactions using Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), On-Bill Repayment, Energy Services Agreements (ESAs), and many other innovative techniques to fund the transition to a low-carbon economy. Read More »

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Transitioning to a Clean Energy Future Will Require Lots of Private Capital, but How Do We Get There?

By: Victor A. Rojas, Senior Manager, Financial Policy

Source: 401(K) Flickr

Source: 401(K) Flickr

The past two decades have seen a tremendous growth in our understanding of the climate change imperative and in the enormity of the challenge that confronts us. It has become clear that meeting climate change mitigation objectives will require the aggressive deployment of clean energy technologies, substantial amounts of capital, and creative methods of engaging that capital around these activities.

Transitioning to a low-carbon economy costs money (and lots of it). In fact, the International Energy Agency has estimated that $10.5 trillion will be required between 2010 and 2030 to fund this transition worldwide. Given the continuing challenges confronting global economies, the bulk of the capital needed to transition to this clean energy future will, by necessity, be private capital. As a result, creative financing solutions are essential to engaging and unleashing private, institutional capital, and accelerating the flow of those funds toward clean energy projects.

But the question of how to most effectively unlock the enormous amounts of capital necessary to pay for our transition to a low-carbon economy still remains. Read More »

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EDF Wins Business Achievement Award for Efforts to Advance Clean Energy Financing

By: Matt Golden, Senior Energy Finance Consultant

CCBJawardEach year the Climate Change Business Journal (CCBJ) awards businesses and non-profits for their outstanding work in the climate and environment industry. This year, we are thrilled to announce that EDF’s own Investor Confidence Project (ICP) was named a winner of CCBJ’s Business Achievement Award in the category of Finance. Winners of the 18 categories – ranging from solar and wind power to transportation and energy efficiency – were recognized this month at an Environmental Industry Summit in San Diego.

The Investor Confidence Project received recognition for its efforts to help create a market for investor-ready energy efficiency projects. From the CCBJ award website: “ICP is moving the energy efficiency industry closer to the Holy Grail of securitization, in which energy efficiency projects can be valued based on consistent parameters with little project-specific analysis and vetting-processes that ratchet up soft costs quickly.” Read More »

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NYCEEC, NY State Green Bank Clear the Way for Clean Energy Financing of Retrofits

By: Susan Leeds, CEO of the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation (NYCEEC)

Source: AtisSun

Source: AtisSun

As New York City gets repeatedly hammered by snow, ice and the evil “wintry mix,” one could almost forget the world is warming at an ever faster clip. But the experts in the room earlier this month at the roundtable discussion on ‘Economics of Energy Retrofits’ at Urban Green Council (New York’s chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council) know the debate is over. Climate change is real and the window for action is closing. That’s why it’s more important than ever to work toward removing barriers to clean energy financing now.

As the De Blasio administration strives to build a more affordable New York City it’s important to note that clean energy building upgrades are central to this mission. By reducing energy use, building owners and their tenants can realize millions of dollars in annual savings while slashing dangerous carbon pollution for cleaner air and water. Read More »

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EDF’s Energy Efficiency Protocols Serve as a Model at ESCO Europe 2014

By: Matt Golden, Senior Energy Finance Consultant 

1ICP LogoAs interest in and adoption of EDF’s Investor Confidence Project (ICP) protocols has continued to grow in the United States, so too has interest internationally. The Investor Confidence Project was invited to showcase our efforts at ESCO Europe, the continent’s largest conference for energy service providers. This year, the conference was held in Barcelona, Spain and drew an array of participants from across Europe and the public and private sectors, including representatives from finance companies, governments, and non-profits with interests in the energy industry.

I was privileged to serve as both a panelist in a roundtable discussion on barriers to ESCO financing, and a speaker on “Improving Access to Finance,” a well-attended session with representatives from the European Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and European Energy Efficiency Fund.

EDF was invited to attend this conference based on a series of conversations over the last year with European stakeholders facing the same barriers to investing in energy efficiency as their American counterparts. With policymakers in Europe similarly counting on a vast expansion of the market in building retrofits and an expected influx of private and public capital, there is a focus on standardization and policies that can enable capital and investors to enter the market with fewer transaction costs. Read More »

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$200 Million in Private Capital Financing Signals Investors’ Support for Clean Energy

By: Victor Rojas, Senior Manager, Financial Policy



While 2014 is only just getting underway, it is already shaping up to be a banner year for clean energy finance. Capital investments are being made, funds developed, and securitization tools crafted — all with remarkable speed. And private capital markets are aggressively rallying around these efforts, which will only increase the momentum of our collective efforts to drive investments into essential energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Funding for homeowner energy efficiency loans could lead to securitization

Early this year, clean energy consumer finance company, Kilowatt Financial, closed a $100 million deal with  Citi to finance 10-12 year unsecured loans of up to $30,000 for homeowners making energy efficiency improvements to their HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems, water heaters, windows, roofing, insulation, lighting, and appliances.

The transaction is designed to facilitate a securitization of loans (which promotes liquidity in the marketplace), help establish a secondary market, and spur energy efficiency investments. Kilowatt and Citi expect to create term asset-backed securities from the loans that will provide a sustainable source of capital for homeowners looking to make home energy upgrades. Read More »

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Upcoming Webinar: How Commercial PACE and ICP are Raising Investor Confidence in Energy Efficiency

By: Matt Golden, Senior Energy Finance Consultant


The Investor Confidence Project (ICP) and Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs offer many opportunities for collaboration in the buildings and energy efficiency sector.  We will be exploring this potential for partnership in the upcoming webinar, Commercial PACE: Raising Confidence in Energy Savings to Ramp-Up Investment and Demand, held on January, 30th 2014, at 2pm ET/ 11am PT.

This one-hour, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) / PACEnow webinar is designed to help Commercial PACE administrators, investors, project developers and building owners understand how standardization can facilitate multiple stakeholder alignment, ensure underwriting needs are met and enable energy efficiency investment while lowering transaction costs.  It will include a brief presentation on EDF’s Investor Confidence Project, followed by panel discussion focusing on how Commercial PACE programs are using ICP to address the owner and investor projected savings-confidence challenge, which has been an impediment to energy retrofit financing nationwide.  Moreover, the panel will share how ICP is enabling energy efficiency financing to become a mainstream financial asset class with the high degree of standardization, predictability and scale that investors demand. Read More »

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New Protocol Will Help Create Investor Confidence in Small-Scale Energy Efficiency Retrofits

##logoBy: Matt Golden, Senior Energy Finance Consultant

The Investor Confidence Project (ICP), which aims to bring transparency and accountability to the energy efficiency market by introducing a system of standardization, is pleased to announce the release of the Energy Performance Protocol for Targeted Commercial projects.  Unlike whole building retrofits, targeted commercial projects are typically projects that can upgrade a single measure, such as lighting or windows, or multiple measures that are very basic. The protocols standardize how projects are baselined, engineered, installed, operated and measured, and are aimed at boosting investor confidence in the resulting savings.

The Targeted Commercial Protocol complements the ICP’s two existing Energy Performance Protocols: 1) Large Commercial Protocol, which involves a whole building retrofit greater than $1 million and with annual energy savings of more than 20%, and 2) Standard Commercial Protocol, which is a whole building retrofit priced at below $1 million.

The Targeted Commercial Protocol further develops the ICP family of protocols and addresses the range of project types increasingly common in the growing energy efficiency retrofit marketplace. Reflecting market realities for smaller projects, this protocol was developed in collaboration with industry experts, including organizations that are part of the ICP Ally Network.  It strikes a balance between the need to minimize overhead for less complex projects, while maintaining the necessary rigor to attract investment for smaller projects.  Read More »

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