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This paper will address how a federal program to aggregate and potentially guarantee loans made to finance energy efficiency projects can be leveraged to promote best practices on the state and local level for opening up energy efficiency projects to external financing. There are a number of existing financing tools that have started to solve the problem of providing access to capital for efficiency projects, but the programs are all relatively small and have had limited market penetration. One essential, but not exclusive, solution will be to create a federal entity, based on existing green bank proposals, that has the authority and funding to provide credit support for efficiency financing and that can help create a secondary market for efficiency backed financial products.

The paper proceeds in three parts. Part I reviews the role of energy efficiency in addressing global climate change and the impediments to greater energy efficiency investment. Part II examines existing policy options and financing tools and reviews some of their limitations. Part III looks at existing green bank legislation and suggests modifications to those proposals, as well as additional federal policies that should be considered.


Environmental Law | Law