2017 will usher in a new administration and likely some changes in federal energy policy. Despite the uncertainty of such change, one fact is clear: financing of energy efficiency investments is more important than ever.
States, cities, and, corporations have committed to continue building the clean energy economy. They will need to either dig deeper into their budgets or find new funding strategies to make progress. Fortunately, financing can help stretch a dollar, and investor appetite for green bonds – one such source - skyrocketed to more than $80 billion last year.
What’s next for financing? We’re building a dynamic agenda for our Finance Forum 2017, and there’s still time to help shape it by sharing your ideas for topics. Our event has been the world’s preeminent conference on energy efficiency financing for more than a decade.
Hosted this year in Chicago, Finance Forum will dedicate a portion of its program to energy efficiency in the Midwest. It will feature the endeavors and accomplishments of Illinois and the surrounding states. It will also serve as a venue for companies and agencies to share knowledge on how to scale-up efficiency at both the national and regional level.
The May 21-23 forum will build on topics explored at last year’s conference in Rhode Island: green bonds as well as public-private partnerships and other financing strategies to leverage public dollars. These topics could be essential in the next administration. President-elect Donald Trump has underlined the importance of rebuilding our infrastructure, specifically mentioning public-private partnerships and state revolving loan funds.
In addition to the Midwest focus, the upcoming forum will likely discuss resiliency, creating a green or infrastructure bank, the state of On-Bill and PACE financing, new financing methods, and successful programs in the residential, commercial, and multifamily sectors. Again, if you have topic or panel ideas, please email us at FinanceForum@aceee.org. If you’re new to the field, we hold a half-day, pre-conference session called “Energy Efficiency Financing 101” so you can quickly learn the ins and outs of the industry.