Investor Confidence Project recommended for federal energy efficiency projects

Matt Golden

The General Services Administration High Performance Building Adoption Task Group, an advisory committee of both federal and nonfederal experts, has released a letter with a set of recommendations to accelerate the adoption of high-performance federal buildings, focusing on upgrading existing buildings.

The letter advised projects to adopt national standards, such as the Investor Confidence Project (ICP), a global underwriting standard for developing and measuring energy efficiency retrofits for commercial and multifamily residential buildings. ICP is administered by GBCI and was conceived, incubated and developed by the Environmental Defense Fund as a way to leverage and replicate best practices in the public and private sector.

The recommendations to the GSA centered around addressing transaction cost barriers, as well as streamlining the project development and contracting process to create confidence and consistency in project returns. The committee also discussed mechanisms to allow energy performance contracting and energy efficiency to reach smaller buildings that are often too small for most Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) contractors.

The ICP system and its Investor Ready Energy Efficiency™ (IREE) certification addresses many of the core issues that have made it hard to scale energy efficiency across diverse portfolios of buildings. By standardizing how projects are developed and reviewed, it becomes easier to roll out efficiency with confidence, ensuring consistent quality with lower transaction costs. The ICP system specifically works to increase investor and building owners confidence in the financial and environmental performance of commercial and multifamily buildings.

ICP’s recognition by the GSA advisory group follows on the heels of a report from a committee of Canada’s House of Commons, the Canadian Federal Standing Committee on Finance, that also included ICP as a tool to drive opportunities for targeted retrofit investments for federally funded buildings. The report, “Driving Inclusive Growth: Spurring Productivity and Competitiveness in Canada,” encourages projects to embed ICP as a requirement in the Low-Carbon Economy Fund, the Canada Infrastructure Bank and the National Housing Strategy, three of the central Canadian governmental programs to address energy use in buildings.

This combined effort is an indication of ICP’s ability to deliver a consistent approach to energy efficiency retrofitting across markets. Having a standard framework that is consistent in the United States and Canada will help create a more efficient market that will benefit building owners, investors and the efficiency industry. To learn more about ICP and IREE certification, visit the ICP website or contact us via email.

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