Energy Efficiency Finance Forum
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.
In just a week and a half, ACEEE will be hosting its annual Energy Efficiency Finance Forum. There’s been a running joke in the energy efficiency financing industry for the past couple of years about the large ratio of conferences to deals.
An unprecedented amount of capital is ready to be deployed into the market for energy efficiency investments. Deals are getting done, and pipelines are being filled for some. Momentum is growing, but we are still far shy of tapping this market’s $279 billion investment potential.
After a long warm-up, energy efficiency is taking its rightful place as a starting player in the clean energy game. This spring, we’ve seen both the public and the private sector put serious resources into helping build financing solutions to help efficiency reach the scale it needs.
The moment we have been waiting for has arrived! The Warehouse for Energy Efficiency Loans (WHEEL), a financing platform that will open the market for energy efficiency investment to institutional investors, is open for business. WHEEL acts as a virtual financial warehouse for relatively small individual loans, holding them until there are enough loans to attract attention from large investment houses.
Recent months have seen some exciting developments in energy efficiency finance. Investment funds, capitalized at about $200 million, are set to break into the potentially extensive market for energy efficiency projects in the buildings sector.
Over the past several years, the energy efficiency community has worked hard to engage lenders in what is estimated to be a $279 billion market. At ACEEE’s annual Finance Forums, we have witnessed tremendous progress.
On May 13–15, ACEEE hosted the 7th Annual Energy Efficiency Finance Forum in Chicago, Illinois. Once again, we had record-breaking attendance—nearly 300 participants—and representation from a wide array of industries, including financial services; utilities; and federal, state, and local government.