Seizing a Critical Moment for Energy Efficiency Finance

By Casey Bell, Senior Economist and Finance Policy Lead

An unprecedented amount of capital is ready to be deployed into the market for energy efficiency investments. Deals are getting done, and pipelines are being filled for some. Momentum is growing, but we are still far shy of tapping this market’s $279 billion investment potential.

Simultaneously, the policy landscape is evolving in ways that may drive demand for projects in the near- and mid-term future. The Clean Power Plan, energy efficiency resource standards, and benchmarking and disclosure laws may generate project development. In addition, improved collection, dissemination, and analysis of building and financial performance may reduce the perceived risk around energy efficiency investments.

At the state level, many are thinking about new paths for deploying energy efficiency through resiliency investment, the transactive grid, and green banks to leverage private-sector dollars. Other factors that may bolster demand include intelligent efficiency, advances in net metering, and innovations in building and financial-performance data collection.

With all this exciting activity, it is clear to us that energy efficiency finance is facing a critical moment. The question is: Can we seize the moment and match capital with projects? As the clean energy landscape evolves, how do we ensure the greatest energy savings and financial returns from energy efficiency…

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About ACEEE: The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy acts as a catalyst to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and behaviors. For information about ACEEE and its programs, publications, and conferences, visit