The main theme, which was echoed many times most notably by the keynote speaker Bill Clinton, was the idea that barriers to investment in energy efficiency projects represent the single biggest hurdle facing the industry.
The US Building Energy Efficiency Retrofits: Market Sizing and Financing Models report (2012), developed by the Rockefeller Foundation, indicates that scaling building energy efficiency retrofits in the United States offers a $279 billion dollar investment opportunity and represents $1 trillion in savings potential over the next ten years.
Building on this theme, Tracy Phillips presented the ICP protocols and Quality Management Specifications as a mechanism for unlocking these purse strings. By providing a standardized approach to the development of energy efficiency projects including best practices, qualifications, and documentation, the industry is held to a uniform level. Investors can better understand the investment and it's risks and returns, which allows them to compare energy efficiency projects side by side with other investment opportunities.
The ICP concept was overwhelmingly well received by those in attendance, who mainly asked how they could get involved. The answer: become an ICP ally, start using the protocols, and become a credentialed project developer, software provider, or quality assurance provider!
The ICP commercial and multifamily protocols are currently available (www.eeperformance.org), and the Quality Management Specification is due for release on October 21st. The ICP Credentialing effort will also be unveiled later this month!
Hearing Bill Clinton and industry leaders espouse the importance of bridging the gap between energy efficiency project development and financing reinforces the belief that the ICP efforts are serving a role long awaited in the wild west of energy efficiency!