(SAN FRANCISCO – April 11, 2016) Environmental Defense Fund’s Investor Confidence Project (ICP) today announced Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), the largest utility in the United States, is launching a new pilot to accelerate energy efficiency retrofits in existing buildings by providing interest-free loans to energy performance contractors who use ICP’s Investor Ready Energy Efficiency™ (IREE) certification. ICP’s IREE certification brings rigorous measurement and verification metrics to energy efficiency retrofit projects, standardizing the way such projects are developed and brought to market — and making them more attractive to investors and building owners alike.
Once approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, the PG&E pilot could unleash a wave of private investment in energy efficiency retrofits across California, and provide a model for similar efforts in other states. The pilot will help implement the energy efficiency provisions of recent California state legislation (AB 802).
“ICP and PG&E are welcoming a new era of market-driven energy efficiency performance,” said Matt Golden, Project Director for EDF’s Investor Confidence Project. “By establishing a series of benchmarks and best practices for the retrofitting of existing buildings, ICP slashes transaction costs, accelerates project timelines, and shows a clear path to profitability for the finance and performance contracting sectors.”
The interest-free loans will be provided under a pilot in PG&E’s existing On-Bill Financing (OBF) program, giving qualifying energy efficiency projects in existing commercial and multifamily buildings access to up to $100,000 at zero percent interest. Under the terms of the program, qualifying projects will show positive cash flow for building owners – meaning loan payments will be less than bill savings.
“PG&E’s new pilot with EDF’s Investor Confidence Project helps take things to the next level,” said Gavin Purchas, EDF Director, California Clean Energy. “By creating a robust market for the financing of energy efficiency retrofits, PG&E is at the cutting edge of a true transformation in how we use, value and securitize energy savings.”
EDF’s ICP is also running a pilot through the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU), and is the standard for property-assessed clean energy loans (PACE) in the state of Texas. Additional ICP programs for building owners, investors, and performance contractors exist in a half-dozen other states in the U.S. and across the European Union. The addition of PG&E’s OBF Pilot is a significant milestone for ICP, which came to fruition in 2014.
For more information on the Investor Confidence Project, visit www.EEperformance.org.
Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and our Energy Exchange blog.