Steven Fawkes – a senior adviser to the Investor Confidence Project and a member of the Investment Committee of the London Energy Efficiency Fund – is trying to get investors in the UK interested in things such as insulation, draft proofing and changing out inefficient old boilers.
He is quoted at The Fifth Estate as saying that the world spends $6 trillion in energy annually; saving one-third through improved energy efficiency would be a $2 trillion savings. The soft benefits, such as improved productivity and health, would be significant icing on the cake.
In reality, however, these financial and social benefits have been known for a long time. Actually implementing such steps are costly and unique to each situation. His point is that making energy efficiency “a more investable asset class” would create a landscape in which the drawbacks would be minimized.
Though it is not traded like commodities or other financial instruments, there is a constant flow of investments into energy efficiency. Last month, the Green Communities Grant awarded the town of Bridgewater, MA, $231,000 to pay for efficiency improvements that would lead to annual savings of $55,000.