Over the past several years, energy efficiency financing has been widely viewed as a promising solution to reducing upfront cost barriers to energy efficiency investment. However, several markets, including commercial office markets and the multifamily subsector, remain stubbornly hard to reach. Financing is not a panacea for serving hard-to reach markets, and driving energy efficiency investment requires overcoming many other barriers in the commercial buildings market including split-incentives, long payback periods, and perceived uncertainty surrounding the savings from energy efficiency measures. There is also a lingering question as to how and when attractive financing opportunities might make a difference in the commercial buildings market.
The purpose of this report is to provide an in-depth look at the barriers and potential solutions to energy efficiency investment in markets for commercial-leased space, including office space, and a discussion of the multifamily subsector in the United States.