Billions of dollars need to be invested in clean energy each year in order to avoid the most severe consequences of climate change. Private capital plays a very important role in this equation.
In the U.S., the energy efficiency market potential is estimated at $1 trillion. The investment opportunity is massive, yet it remains largely untapped. Creative financing solutions are essential to engaging and unleashing private, institutional capital to accelerate the flow of those funds toward clean energy projects.
Buildings account for 40 percent of all energy use, and up to half of this energy is wasted. Managing energy efficiency in buildings is critical to reduce pollution, bolster economic development, and create jobs.
EDF conceived, incubated, and developed the Investor Confidence Project (ICP) to build trust in the financial and environmental results of energy efficiency upgrades in buildings, create a global market for investments in these types of projects, and as a foundation to do so at scale.
Evolving from a philanthropically supported endeavor to a market-based system, ICP offers investors and developers a standardized roadmap to assess risk and deliver on project results by predicting energy savings, optimizing performance, and monitoring the outcome of energy efficiency investments in order to generate financial savings and returns.
The potential for scalability with ICP is huge and is growing. ICP is operational in the US and in Europe. We've launched successful programs and pilots in New York, New Jersey, California and Texas. Supported by a grant from the European Commission, ICP has been asked to adapt its standards across all 28 countries of the European Union.
As of October, 2016, EDF is working together with Green Business Certification, Inc. (GBCI) to establish ICP as the global underwriting standard for energy efficiency projects. Soon, ICP will transition to the GBCI platform, the leading provider of certifications and credentials for the building sector that today includes LEED, GRESB and WELL, among others.
Cutting costs and pollution
Thanks to Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), an innovative, market-based financing program, commercial, industrial, and multifamily property owners now have the tools to obtain low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency, onsite generation, and water conservation improvements for their units.
Municipalities and counties work with private sector lenders to fund clean energy and water conservation projects, using a property assessment that ties the financing obligation to the property itself without having to worry about steep upfront costs.
Free of government mandates and public funding, PACE not only reduces operating costs and pollution, but also increases property owners' bottom-line profitability while improving tenants' living conditions.