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Promoting Energy Efficiency Finance: Examples of Tools and Best Practices

30 November 2017

The Clean Energy Solutions Center, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) via the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), International, hosted this webinar on energy efficiency finance tools and best practices. The webinar was held in support of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) Ministerial process and was organized in consultation with Mexico’s Ministry of Energy (SENER) and the National Commission for Energy Efficiency (CONUEE), which leads the ECPA energy efficiency pillar, and with the ECPA Technical Coordinating Unit (TCU) at the Organization of American States (OAS). ECPA, founded in 2009, is a flexible platform for accelerating sustainable energy in the Americas.

The purpose of the webinar was to provide policymakers, financiers and energy efficiency practitioners an example of an energy efficiency finance tool as well as real world case studies that have proven successful in various energy contexts in and beyond the Americas. It included two presentations from experts on energy efficiency finance tools and best practices.

The first presentation provided an introduction to the G20 Energy Efficiency Investment Toolkit and was presented by the technical lead for the development of the tool. Co-chaired and coordinated by France and Mexico, the “Toolkit” is a collaborative effort of the G20’s Energy Efficiency Finance Task Group, with 15 country members, and inputs from the networks of UN Environment Finance Initiative and other partners. It provides a voluntary framework and tools for G20 countries to enhance capital flows for energy efficiency investments in their economies. In presenting and demonstrating the “Toolkit”, the webinar allowed participants to learn from a new perspective on how to address the challenges of scaling-up energy efficiency investments, provided insights into national policy developments, and reveal how public and private sector financial institutions are progressing on the energy efficiency challenge.

The second presentation discussed Green Banks in Latin America and featured expert presentations from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on approaches used by green banks to overcome common barriers to energy efficiency investments in the low-income and multifamily housing sector and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as well as case studies relevant to Latin American and Caribbean countries. Specific challenges to financing energy efficiency investments include difficulty in perceiving economic benefits, a perception that pay back periods are overly long, and a lack of specialized financing instruments and incipient development of ESCO markets. The cases studies presented highlighted innovative approaches to financing energy efficiency, good practices, and the enabling institutional and policy framework contributing to success. NRDC also provided a high-level overview of options for adapting the green bank approach and function to the context of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The webinar presentations were followed by an interactive question and answer session with the audience.