Helping Smaller Energy Efficiency Companies Tap into the $279 Billion Market

Oct. 19, 2015
Smaller energy efficiency companies face a number of challenges implementing projects. Joule Assets has unveiled a program that aims to stand behind these companies, and pay investors back with energy efficiency savings. About 97 percent of the energy efficiency market is untapped due to the difficulty finding investors and other issues, the company says in this podcast.

About 97 percent of the energy efficiency market is untapped due to the difficulty finding investors and other issues, says Dennis Quinn, chief operating officer of Joule Assets.

And that’s a big market: nearly $279 billion in the US, he says.

In this podcast (see player above), Quinn and Richard Jones, senior vice president of Hartford Steam Boiler explain how they’re going to help solve the problem by boosting investor confidence in projects. The two companies announced a portfolio-wide insurance product designed to meet the needs of smaller energy efficiency companies

The product provides small contractors access to capital and investors, Quinn says. It does this by including them in a portfolio of projects that’s presented to investors. Energy savings from the projects are used to pay back the investors.

“The contractors often aren’t large investors and need investment-grade companies behind them,” he says in this podcast.  “We bring projects to market through our contractors.”

Investors often worry about contractors going out of business, for example. But with this product, Joule Assets stands behind the contractors.

Investors can look at a broader product that’s made up of a portfolio of projects, he explains. “They know that we’re standing behind the savings.”

With this product, contractors have lower reserve margins.”Our contractors previously had to set aside a portion of their margin” to insure against possible problems.  But with this product, they don’t have to do that.

Joule provides contractors with fixed-payment loans, service agreements with guaranteed savings, or service agreements with shared savings.

For investors, Joule is offering the ERA Fund, which, according to the company website, “provides new access to environmentally responsible investments for high-net-worth, accredited individual investors, family foundations, mutual funds, and institutional investors.”

Joule Assets delivers financing solutions backed by performance insurance for energy efficiency and demand response  initiatives and projects.

“Leveraging our proprietary database, software and extensive industry expertise, our mission is to expand commerce and reduce barriers in these complicated markets by creating transparency and providing financing solutions,” the company says.

Tell us what you see as the main obstacles faced by smaller energy efficiency companies. Post below or on our LinkedIn Group, Energy Efficiency Markets.

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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