EDF helps standardize energy efficiency projects in Texas

April 15, 2014
Anita Jain, 212-616-1285, anjain@edf.org

(New York, NY – April 15, 2014) Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is pleased to announce that a non-profit business association in Texas devoted to bringing property-assessed clean energy (PACE) programs to the state, Keeping PACE in Texas, Tuesday released a do-it-yourself toolkit that embeds energy efficiency protocols developed by EDF’s Investor Confidence Project (ICP).

The ICP protocols aim to bring transparency and accountability to the energy efficiency market by introducing a system of standardization to the way commercial building retrofits are developed, funded, and measured. The ICP framework assembles best practices and technical standards into a set of protocols that define a clear roadmap for developing projects, estimating energy and financial savings, and documenting and verifying results.

The incorporation of the ICP protocols in the do-it-yourself toolkit for local Texas officials interested in launching PACE programs in their cities and counties, known as PACE in a Box, reflects ICP’s growing momentum across the country.

“It has been exciting to work with the Texas PACE in a Box team, the Texas State Energy Conservation Office, and key industry stakeholders to ensure the Investor Confidence Project can support the energy and economic goals of Texas PACE,” said Matt Golden, Senior Energy Finance Consultant with EDF. “Not only will ICP help create consistency in PACE programs across Texas, it will also align Texas PACE with a growing number of private investors interested in investing in the state.”

Keeping PACE in Texas joins ICP’s rapidly expanding Ally Network, which includes Connecticut’s Green Bank and the LA Better Buildings Challenge.

“PACE in a Box was designed by more than a hundred stakeholders as a uniform, user-friendly, sustainable and scalable model PACE program for local communities throughout Texas. We are glad to have access to ICP’s energy efficiency protocols to help ensure consistency in energy efficiency monitoring and valuation so that property owners and lenders have confidence in the savings projected in their PACE in a Box financing opportunities,” said Charlene Heydinger, executive director of Keeping PACE in Texas.

The release of PACE in a Box follows in the wake of the Texas state legislature’s approval of PACE programs, which allow property owners to finance energy efficiency upgrades through their property tax bills. Designed to facilitate a consistent statewide approach to implementing PACE financing, PACE in a Box outlines the steps a local government should take to establish an effective PACE program quickly and economically.

Incorporating ICP’s standards into its toolkit allowed Keeping PACE in Texas to avoid the costly and time-consuming process of developing proprietary program standards. The business association initially investigated developing a set of technical standards for undertaking energy efficiency upgrades for the toolkit, but after reviewing market-tested ICP’s protocols, it decided that utilizing them could expedite the release of PACE in a Box as well as avoid development and maintenance costs associated with proprietary versions.

Keeping PACE in Texas released the final draft of PACE in a Box Tuesday but is soliciting feedback from stakeholders before launching an official version, scheduled for May 30.

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Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) Investor Confidence Project (ICP) is developing a consensus framework to predict and measure energy savings, enabling the acceleration of energy efficiency investments and the emergence of a robust and thriving commercial building sector. The ICP framework provides a foundation for consistent, predictable and reliable savings outcomes. Through ICP, EDF is working closely with engineers, industry allies, financial market participants, insurers, regulators, and utilities to help define standard weights and measures that will enable the flow of private investment required to launch a global market for energy efficiency in buildings. For more information, visit eeperformance.org.