Realizing the potential of energy efficiency with the Investor Confidence Project

Trevy Meade

Investment in energy efficiency is one of the most powerful levers for transforming the built environment. By scaling up energy efficiency in existing buildings, we can limit pollution, reduce carbon emissions, slash energy bills, and create new jobs. Studies estimate that large scale investment in energy efficiency in existing buildings has the potential to deliver up to $1.2 trillion dollars in energy savings, and 1.1 gigatons of GHG emissions reductions annually.

Unfortunately, the reality is that this lever has been dramatically underutilized and actual investment in building energy efficiency has long been far below the levels needed to deliver these substantial financial and environmental benefits. 

While the opportunity is great, a number of barriers stand in the way of scaling investment in energy efficiency retrofits:

  • Lack of standardization in project development and documentation
  • Perceived performance risk
  • A history of unreliable financial returns

The lack of standardization and complexity of assessing and managing performance risk associated with energy efficiency investments leads to costly due diligence and more importantly to projects which often fail to meet performance expectations.

While energy efficiency can have great financial returns, the fact is that for any given building retrofit project, there is a high degree of uncertainty in terms of actual savings. Historically, the energy efficiency retrofit industry has had a propensity for overestimation of savings, which has led to a profound lack of confidence among owners and investors that they will realize the benefits they’re after. To put it bluntly, why invest if the financial outcome is so uncertain?

This is where the Investor Confidence Project (ICP) enters the conversation. ICP is a tool to enable the scaling of investments in energy efficiency projects by increasing confidence in financial and environmental performance of building retrofits.

ICP provides a standardized best-practice roadmap for developing energy efficiency projects, and gives investors, building owners, and project developers a high degree of certainty in projected energy savings and financial returns. Investors can easily identify those projects that have been verified by a third-party to have followed the ICP roadmap as they are designated as Investor Ready Energy Efficiency (IREE) certified. 

By providing a framework to standardize energy efficiency project development, a network of qualified developers, and rigorous third-party validation that is intended to lower transaction costs, ICP increases the reliability of savings, and reduces investor risk.

ICP is for owners, investors, and project developers and delivers industry best energy efficiency projects.

Get started: 

  • Twenty-minute Introduction to the Investor Confidence Project (watch here)
  • Become an ICP Approved Project Developer (apply here) 

ICP in action: 

  • PG&E, uses ICP’s Investor Ready Energy Efficiency (IREE) certification to hit energy efficiency targets (read more)
  • Canada Infrastructure Bank uses ICP to qualify projects for access to $2B in financing (read more)
  • EcoGreen Solutions uses ICP to halve project development costs (read more)

Email the ICP team at [email protected] to learn more.

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