Energy Efficiency Financing Takes a Giant Leap Forward

Blog Post | March 15, 2013 - 11:49 am
By Casey Bell, Senior Economist and Manager, Finance Policy

Last week marked an important milestone in efforts to advance financing of energy efficiency. The Pennsylvania Treasury sold nearly 4,700 loans from the Keystone HELP program for a projected total of $31.3 million. The cash component for the sale was provided by a consortium of three banks—Fox Chase Bank, WSFS Bank, and National Penn Bank. This transaction advances nationwide efforts to develop a secondary market for energy efficiency lending products.

The Keystone Help program was originally established by AFC First Financial and provides low-interest loans for residential energy efficiency measures including (but not limited to) high-efficiency furnace or boiler replacements, geothermal heating and cooling units, insulation installations, and door and window replacements. The Pennsylvania Treasury launched the program statewide in 2006 and since then the program has made nearly 11,000 loans for $75 million. AFC First Financial continues to originate the loans and utilize a network of approved in-state contractors to complete the work.

One of the keys to increasing energy efficiency in the United States is growing the market—the Rockefeller Foundation and Deutsche Bank estimate that private sector entities could invest more than $279 billion across the buildings sector. Such investment would generate more than $1 trillion in energy savings over 10 years and create 3.3 million jobs. By increasing the flow of capital, the Keystone HELP model represents a giant leap forward in the quest to reach that level of investment by aiding in the creation of a secondary market that will make it easier and even more cost-effective for homeowners and businesses to save money and increase building comfort by saving energy.

This exciting development and others will be part of the conversation at ACEEE’s 7th Annual Energy Efficiency Finance Forum. Come join us in Chicago on May 13-15 to learn more.