Improved policies are essential in unlocking multi-billion dollar investment opportunities in the US energy efficiency sector, according to a new report by Ceres and the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR).
The study, entitled, Power Factor: Institutional Investors’ Policy Priorities Can Bring Energy Efficiency to Scale, says improving utility regulation, demand-generating policies and encouraging innovation would boost institutional investment into energy efficiency.
“Energy efficiency offers investors a potent one-two punch: stable returns and an important strategy for mitigating climate-related risks”, said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres and director of the INCR.
“Policymakers and regulators should work to unlock capital from institutional investors for energy efficiency by promoting the policies identified in this report.
“Many of these policies do not require public funds, and they can put money back into the pockets of homeowners and business leaders around the country.”
Based on the input of around 30 large institutional investors and experts on energy, policy and finance, respondents cited several areas of policy that would help grow investment within the energy efficiency market.
The report cited that improving financing policies, offering Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) bonds (local government entities that offer sustainable energy project loans to property owners) and improving stronger contractor and performance standards, would all boost investment opportunities.
In the UK, almost 19,000 households have had assessments through the government’s flagship energy efficiency policy, the green deal since January 2013. However, research from consumer group Which? recently revealed that taking out a loan through the scheme could hinder property sales in the future.