Financial Incentives for Energy Efficiency
Over the past several years, financing for energy efficiency investments has been widely viewed as a promising solution to reducing upfront cost barriers to investment in energy efficiency. However, several markets, including multi-tenant commercial office and multi-family, remain stubbornly hard to reach.
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.
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.
Prominent policy experts on The Alliance to Save Energy’s Commission on National Energy Policy agree that one of the keys to increasing energy efficiency in the United States is growing the market for energy efficiency financing.
Energy efficiency is good for the environment, electric reliability, and customers’ pocketbooks, and yet some utilities continue to balk. A new report on decoupling shows that utilities can collect revenues lost due to energy efficiency measures without harming customers. First, a bit of background is helpful….
Much of the equipment and production processes in America’s factories are decades old and not as efficient as modern equipment and processes in use by many of our international competitors. While some factories have been modernized, many have not. Modernizing these factories will allow them to better compete in world markets by improving product quality and reducing product costs, including savings through reduced energy use.
Washington, D.C.—The United States and Canada are leading the world with their innovative programs that deliver industrial energy efficiency services to customers, says a new report by the Institute for Industrial Productivity (IIP) and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
As the nation begins to ponder tax reform next year, we have an opportunity to create a new corporate tax structure that encourages investments that benefit society, such as energy efficiency, as well as the businesses that make these investments.
The economy took center stage at times during this year’s presidential debates, but scant attention was paid to the manufacturing sector, which remains an important driver of economic growth as well as energy use. Evidence of a resurgent, domestic manufacturing sector has strategic implications for energy policy as well as the economy.
The economic benefits of energy efficiency extend far beyond lowering energy bills for consumers. Efficiency also contributes to economic development and job creation. But who benefits most from these economic opportunities? At every step of the economic value chain produced by efficiency investments (see figure below), there are opportunities to target the economic and social benefits to those households, businesses, geographies, or sectors for whom they will make the biggest difference.