Topic: Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency Articles

Uncovering the Energy Efficiency Insurance Risks of Small Office Buildings

Energi, a leading provider of specialized insurance and risk management solutions, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) partnered in October 2013 to analyze and begin to quantify the uninsurable risks of energy efficiency retrofits in small office buildings. Uninsurable risk is one of the largest barriers to financing energy efficiency in small buildings.

Clean Energy and Climate Resilience Join Forces

Massachusetts and New Jersey are spearheading clean energy financing programs that also address the need for climate resilience. Both of these programs appear to be partially motivated by the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. The United Nations combines these two funding pools already, but within the United States, this is a new development at both federal and state levels.

Green Banks Can Multiply the Impact of Clean Energy Financing

Last Friday, the Clean Energy Finance Forum spoke with Reed Hundt, CEO of the Coalition for Green Capital, which has led the movement to create green banks in the United States during the last several years. Green banks are financial institutions that use public funding to leverage private financing of clean energy. Hundt said it is urgent for states to start green banks to finance clean energy as they move away from coal and toward meeting their renewable energy standards. He said green banks can multiply financing resources by a factor of 10.

Solar and Energy Efficiency Securitization Emerge

Organizations are beginning to securitize solar and energy efficiency loans to allow greater levels of investment. Securitization involves pooling loans to create consolidated securities that investors can purchase. Recently, SolarCity securitized $54.4 million in loans for solar photovoltaic installations. Also, the Green Jobs – Green New York program has achieved a high bond rating for securitized energy efficiency loans.

California Decision May Catalyze Energy Efficiency Financing

A new market-shaping decision took place at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) on Sept. 19. To increase the state's reliance on private capital for energy efficiency financing, the CPUC allocated $65.9 million for a suite of financing pilot programs for the state’s investor-owned utilities. California’s multipronged approach could lead to original solutions that other states might adopt.

Texas Legislature Passes Commercial and Industrial PACE Bill

The Texas House and Senate passed Senate Bill 385 this week. If Governor Rick Perry approves the bill, the state will break new ground by developing plans for commercial and industrial property assessed clean energy (PACE) programs. This bill will redesign Texas’s approach to PACE, focusing on the commercial and industrial sectors rather than on residential programs. The legislation covers both energy efficiency and water efficiency.