Topic: Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency Articles

What’s Unique about the Texas PACE-in-a-Box Toolkit

Texas faces an unusual scenario when it seeks to advance property-assessed clean energy (PACE). The state has a tradition of seeking private-sector solutions and streamlining government activities. This means PACE methods adopted in other states – such as Connecticut – would not work in Texas. Also, Texas’s private sector is massive. The state’s businesses – and their environmental footprint – are growing rapidly. In a Nov. 18 webinar called “PACE in Texas 101,” Charlene Heydinger, executive director of Keeping PACE in Texas, said Texas uses 19 percent of the industrial energy consumed in the United States.

The Struggle to Combine Energy Efficiency and Solar Power

How can programs motivate homeowners to make their homes energy-efficient before installing solar panels? And how can incentives support a whole-house retrofit approach that will optimize energy savings and prevent solar systems from being oversized? California, Wisconsin, New Jersey, and Austin Energy have been grappling with this challenge for years. Their experiences show well-designed incentives may drive the joint adoption of solar power and energy efficiency. Simply introducing energy efficiency requirements into the solar installation process may not be successful without adding financial motivation.

How to Tap the Medium-Scale Clean Energy Market

Recent attention and growth in clean energy development has largely been focused on either the household scale or the utility scale, leaving the medium-scale market to languish. Despite significant challenges, a growing number of players in the industry are beginning to recognize this untapped potential. Village Power Finance, based in Palo Alto, Calif., uses a model that engages community organizations, small businesses and investors to streamline the development and financing of solar and energy efficiency projects. Michel Puckett from the Clean Energy Finance Forum recently spoke with Ty Jagerson, founder and CEO of Village Power Finance, to learn more about...

Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance Starts Financing Network

Building relationships is one of the essential ingredients of developing a nationwide framework of energy efficiency programs. On May 13, the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) and the Environmental Finance Center (EFC) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced the beginning of the Southeast Energy Efficiency Finance Network (SEEFN), which will aid this traditionally underserved region in creating financing programs.

On-Bill Financing Report Shows Strong Performance

On-bill financing can be a powerful tool for offering attractive energy efficiency options to a broad range of utility customers, according to a new report by State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network (SEE Action). Utility customers often fail to invest in energy efficiency because of its upfront costs, the report said. On-bill financing allows customers to pay for energy efficiency measures gradually over time through charges included on their utility bills. This approach makes it much easier for some customers to access energy efficiency financing.

USDA Plants Seed Funding for Rural Clean Energy

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on May 5 it has earmarked up to $12.3 million in grants and $57.8 million in loan guarantees for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). This followed a Dec. 2013 statement that the USDA will distribute $250 million to rural electric cooperatives through the Energy Efficiency Conservation Loan Program (EECLP).

Energy Efficiency Is a Ripe Market for Small to Mid-Size Lenders

Small energy-efficiency lenders face major obstacles including a lack of customer demand and data, a shortage of standardization metrics, regulatory hurdles, and an absence of underwriting standards, according to a report from the Small Lender Energy Efficiency Convening (SLEEC). The SLEEC took place in October 2013 when the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and Energi convened a group of key stakeholders to explore the obstacles small lenders face and to identify opportunities for small and mid-size lender engagement in the energy efficiency lending market.