Energy efficiency is a very effective way to address Europe’s energy and climate challenges – that is why in its Energy Union strategy the European Commission decided on the principle of putting energy efficiency first.
In order to achieve the massive potential for improved energy efficiency, it will be necessary to increase significantly the rate of investment in energy efficiency across all sectors.
Such investments will reduce the energy costs of consumers and businesses and will bring many other significant benefits besides: greater energy security, fewer energy imports, more jobs, more comfortable and healthier buildings, more competitive businesses and a lower carbon footprint. Most of these investments are expected to be financed by the private sector. This is a key opportunity for banks and financial institutions to expand their business while bringing a number of benefits to the EU economy.
To benefit from these business opportunities, it is important for banks and investors to be able to assess energy efficiency investments properly. Like other fields, investments in energy efficiency create additional value and involve certain risks. Yet energy efficiency investments offer multiple benefits, including energy cost savings which lead to increased reimbursement and reinvestment capacity, increased asset value, and enhanced productivity. What is more, the associated risks are generally low.
This Underwriting Toolkit was prepared by EEFIG, with the support of the European Commission, and is the result of a broad consultation of financial institutions and energy efficiency experts. It aims to help financial institutions finance energy efficiency, by making specific recommendations on how to assess such investments and mitigate the related risks. At the same time, it helps project promoters to structure their investments and prepare bankable projects.
I strongly recommend this toolkit to project promoters, banks, financial institutions and anyone else interested in financing energy efficiency.
Vice-President, Energy Union