The Environmental Defense Fund has, for two years, been working on a new project to make it easier for investors to loan money for building energy efficiency projects.
A team of building scientists, engineers, energy service firms, financial partners, insurers, regulators, policymakers and utilities is working with the EDF on the “Investor Confidence Project.” The goal is to define an open standard to enable the flow of private investment required to launch a global market for energy efficiency in the built environment.
The Investor Confidence Project has developed a framework to standardize the process for predicting and measuring energy savings, and has published a beta of its first set of protocols designed for large commercial building projects.
But why create more standards when we’ve already got LEED and EnergyStar and energy monitoring products from multiple vendors?
“We’re not creating a technical standard,” said Matt Golden, senior energy finance consultant at EDF. “We’re assembling all these standards into a project.” The Investor Confidence Project incorporates technical standards from such groups as ANSI and from government codes and creates a protocol that helps investors understand the risks and return for a particular project.
“We believe that the Investor Confidence Project … when combined with other efforts underway such as On-bill repayment (OBR), Commercial PACE and benchmarking programs, can help deliver a sustainable, private capital-driven market, said Golden in an EDF blog posting. “This will help spur economic development in these challenging times and achieve the potential of energy efficiency as a clean and cost-effective climate and energy policy.”