Energy efficiency (EE) has a central role in addressing climate change. Strengthening energy efficiencies at organizational and entity levels can not only bring significant carbon reductions, but investments in this area can also bring substantial cost savings to businesses and government operations. A 2015 Rockefeller Foundation report calculated that there is room for at least $279 billion in building retrofits in the United States, which could “yield more than $1 trillion of energy savings over 10 years” . The Report further states that this level of energy efficiency savings would reduce U.S. emissions by nearly 10%. By 2020, according to the EIA, over 500 electric utilities had initiated EE programs resulting in annual consumption savings of 28.2 billion kWh–roughly split between residential and commercial customers. On the commercial side, investments can be large, and sometimes difficult to finance. While some states have provided financing options, there are limits to available capital. In this environment, several modalities have emerged to accelerate capital availability; one interesting avenue is a Green Revolving Fund (GRF).
Richard Swanson, Ph.D.
Asset valuation and project finance expert, specializing in financial and economic analysis of civil infrastructure assets.