In the US, the state of New Jersey has launched a pilot programme with a view to boosting private investment in energy efficiency projects and provide assurance that energy savings will be achieved.
The one-year project is targeted specifically at mid-size commercial buildings and multifamily housing projects, forming part of a wider state energy efficiency programme.
According to local media NJ Spotlight, the state Board of Public Utilities is the first regulatory agency in the US to participate in the Investor Confidence Programme
The Investor Confidence Project (ICP) is a project developed by the Environmental Defence Fund and aims at addressing the perceptions by private investors “that savings and financial returns on energy-efficiency initiatives are unreliable”.
Richard Mroz, president of the State Board of Public Utilities, said: “Investors who receive accurate, detailed financial savings data on energy-efficiency projects are better-equipped and more likely to continue invest in projects to save energy.”
Mroz added: “As this pilot programme demonstrates the investment attractiveness of energy conservation measures, even more financial resources will become available to New Jersey businesses to upgrade and grow their facilities.”
Advocating for energy efficiency
New Jersey officials reportedly believe that energy efficiency is the most cost-effective way to reduce pollution and drive down carbon emissions from households and businesses alike.
The pilot offers incentives to businesses to help pay for the documentation and verification needed for the programme.
Mary Barber, EDF’s director for clean energy in New Jersey, commented: “Using smart-engineering standards and best practices to help save energy in buildings creates local jobs, cuts pollution, and saves New Jerseyans money.”
The pilot programme forms part of New Jersey’s 'Pay-for-Performance' -a comprehensive energy efficiency program that provides incentives towards whole-building energy improvements.
Investors who wish to participate and will “make projects eligible to up to US$10,000 in additional incentives to offset costs associated with the more detailed monitoring requirements.”
The state will begin accepting applications for the pilot programme in December 2015.