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EDF Seeks Data for Energy Efficient Buildings Finance Project

August 6, 2013 By Leon Walker

EDF logoThe Environmental Defense Fund’s Investor Confidence Project, and the Clean Energy Finance Center in partnership with state and local lending programs, financial organizations, and other stakeholders, have begun a process of collecting, aggregating and analyzing loan performance and energy savings data from energy efficiency retrofits in residential and commercial buildings.

EDF says that the Energy and Loan Performance Data Project represents the first concerted effort to combine data from some of the largest US energy efficiency programs in an attempt to develop an actuarially significant dataset to help engage the capital markets.

Banks and credit agencies rely on rigorous historical loan performance data in making lending decisions, according top the organizations. Since energy efficiency investing is in the early stages, there is limited historical loan performance data, and what does exist is not aggregated or standardized.

Additionally, a wide array of investors including building owners, energy service companies, insurance providers and even utilities are struggling to ensure savings are delivered and lack the clear data and replicable protocols necessary to accurately underwrite loans, according to the organizations.

Lack of data standards and access to data on loan performance and energy savings, have been cited by a broad range of stakeholders, from capital providers and policy makers, to building owners and contractors, as impeding large scale investment in building retrofits, the organizations say. Five organizations with clean energy financing programs have committed to be involved in the initiative and to provide loan performance and energy performance data: Clean Energy Works Oregon, the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority in Connecticut, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the Pennsylvania Treasury, Town of Babylon’s Long Island Green Homes program, Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance, and PACEnow.

EDF and CEFC, working with the University of Chicago’s Data Science for Social Good fellowship program, will identify use cases for loan and project performance data, determine gaps that may exist in the current datasets, and deliver the high quality analytics to support the advancement of energy efficiency finance and investment through actuarial data.

The program was first announced in January.



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