Noesis Energy launched a matchmaking service to connect building managers and owners wanting to invest in energy-efficiency projects with financing companies that specialize in loans for such projects, and has brought four companies – BluePath Finance, Metrus Energy, TIP Capital and Vireo Energy – on board.
The lenders offer capital and operating leases, efficiency services agreements, managed energy services agreements and property-assessed clean energy (PACE) financing.
Lack of financing has been a crucial roadblock hampering the efficiency and retrofit market, reports an Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) study. EDF says financing is a problem because there is no standardized measurement to assess the return on investment for energy-efficiency projects; it’s difficult to accurately measure cost savings; and there is no marketplace to connect lenders with project managers.
Noesis bills itself as the largest free energy management platform that fills this gap, partnering with specialist efficiency financing firms to unlock project funding and the resulting savings.
Energy efficiency is a largely untapped market that can help the US reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030 while providing cost savings of $130 billion for those who invest in it, the EDF study says.
But high upfront capital and development costs, long payback periods, uncertainty surrounding savings, the perception of risk and limited funding represent a host of barriers. EDF suggests aggregating projects in a central marketplace, stimulating demand by showing building owners the savings that can be had, standardizing data collection and sharing the deal structuring process of a few pilot deals will help overcome these barriers.
With Noesis’ free service, owners enter their building information, such as size and energy consumption patterns each month. The matchmaker provides analysis of their buildings’ energy usage trends, how it compares with other buildings and how they can reduce usage with different efficiency plans. Because Noesis has signed up 21,000 buildings spanning 1.2 billion square feet, financing companies have been keen to sign up with it, Forbes reports.
There are public financing programs like CaliforniaFirst, developed by the California Statewide Communities Development Authority, that allow commercial property owners to use municipal bonds to finance energy efficiency, water efficiency and renewable energy upgrades. Through a public-private partnership, private capital will be used to supply the upfront funding for the work, so that local government budgets will not be burdened.