Busting through Energy Efficiency Hurdles with New Efficiency Financing Tool

Oct. 24, 2013
What’s the best way to break through big barriers in energy efficiency financing? Provide savings guarantees. Here’s a new venture that aims to do just that—and boost the amount of energy efficiency that gets implemented.

Eric Starr, partner with CapX, which provides efficiency financing

What’s the best way to bust through the big barriers in energy efficiency and blow open the doors for more efficiency and its associated savings?

First of all, it’s critical to guarantee the savings from projects. That opens the door for financing—one of the biggest challenges to boosting the numbers of efficiency projects.

A new financing platform aims to do just that—and significantly increase the amount of energy efficiency that gets implemented—along with all the obvious environmental and economic benefits.

The solution comes from CapX Partners, and it’s called the online Energy Conservation and Performance (E-Cap) Platform.  E-CAP essentially matches energy efficiency providers with energy savings insurance and financing.

Why provide this service now?

CapX, a small business investment company that partners with the federal government, invests in small businesses to help them grow and create more jobs, says Eric Starr, a partner with CapX.

“We began to look at areas of the economy that are most impactful and can deliver market return. That’s what got us attracted to the energy efficiency space,” he says.

Energy efficiency is no longer about turning the lights off, he says. “Now there’s new technology that provides a great deal of savings and comfort. When you put these measures into a property, you can improve the carbon footprint, make the environment healthier, all the while generating savings. That’s a multiple bottom line impact in the investment,” Starr says.

Such investments are attractive to a whole host of capital providers, he says. “When you couple these transactions with guaranteed performance, those investments become very attractive to banks.”

The E-CAP Platform increases financing and performance guarantees while also providing cost-benefit and peer building analyses to building owners.

It allows energy efficiency providers to identify projects, and bid for them on the Honest Buildings network. The platform provides development memorandums, credit applications and project implementation plans to facilitate the development process. It offers financing options and performance insurance.

The effort targets electrical contractors, engineers, energy auditors, building owners, and building managers—anyone in the business of designing and building or financing energy efficiency upgrades to properties.

“It’s really anybody and everybody,” says Starr. “As I speak to people, they say there’s lots they want to do but can’t find financing for. Or they say that building owners are a little skittish about whether energy efficiency will work.”

Here’s a solution from investors who saw the opportunity for numerous bottom-line impacts.  Clearly, the word’s getting out about the many benefits of energy efficiency.

Learn more about the program here:  http://e-capitaldevelopment.com/e-cap-platforms/

About the Author

Lisa Cohn | Contributing Editor

I focus on the West Coast and Midwest. Email me at [email protected]

I’ve been writing about energy for more than 20 years, and my stories have appeared in EnergyBiz, SNL Financial, Mother Earth News, Natural Home Magazine, Horizon Air Magazine, Oregon Business, Open Spaces, the Portland Tribune, The Oregonian, Renewable Energy World, Windpower Monthly and other publications. I’m also a former stringer for the Platts/McGraw-Hill energy publications. I began my career covering energy and environment for The Cape Cod Times, where Elisa Wood also was a reporter. I’ve received numerous writing awards from national, regional and local organizations, including Pacific Northwest Writers Association, Willamette Writers, Associated Oregon Industries, and the Voice of Youth Advocates. I first became interested in energy as a student at Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, where I helped design and build a solar house.

Twitter: @LisaECohn

Linkedin: LisaEllenCohn

Facebook: Energy Efficiency Markets

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