Investor Confidence Project


Winter 2017

Breaking down the barriers to energy efficiency investment in Europe.

The European Commission chartered Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group (EEFIG) stated in its April 2015 report that energy efficiency investments have the clear potential to become a key driver of EU competitiveness, economic value, innovation and employment1. It emphasized that energy efficiency is of increasing strategic importance for Europe due to the need to increase energy security, offset rising energy prices, and the need to increase efforts to meet the EU's 2020 climate change commitments. However, this report also warned that if the investment into energy efficiency is not significantly increased, EU Member States are at risk of missing their 2020 and long-term efficiency and climate targets.

The importance of increasing investor confidence in energy efficiency and standardisation of the development process was stressed in the EEFIG report and the Investor Confi dence Project, which was only operating in the United States at that time, was highlighted as "a relevant model initiative" and "an EU Investor Confidence Project" (ICP) was recommended. Dr. Steven Fawkes of EnergyPro Ltd formed a consortium, bringing together a range of expertise across fi ve countries, and the team was awarded a €1.9 million grant from the European Commission's Horizon 2020 programme in 2015 to develop and roll-out ICP in Europe. The consortium has since achieved results far beyond those targeted in the grant agreement.

With the active involvement of many energy efficiency and finance experts, the ICP Europe team developed and published six Protocols, the basis of the ICP system, which set out best practice in project development and documentation; these were translated into Portuguese, Bulgarian and German.

In April 2016, ICP launched its Investor Network, which now boasts 19 major financial institutions – such as Royal Bank of Scotland, Joule Assets, Amber Infrastructure, SUMA Capital, SUSI Partners or Macquarie - with over €1 billion available for energy efficiency retrofit projects. Investors join the Network in order to find high-quality project pipelines and developers to work with, and because they recognize the value of standardised, investor-ready projects to increase deal flow and drive demand in the marketplace.

Shortly after, ICP launched its Investor Ready Energy Efficiency™ (IREE™) Certification for the European market to build investors' and owners trust in retrofits and savings. This announcement introduced the process of how to achieve IREE™ Certification: a project can be certified if it has been developed following the ICP Protocols by a credentialed Project Developer and verified by a credentialed Quality Assurance Provider. The first IREETM project, a £13m hospital retrofit in the UK, was certified in the same month, and thirty projects and programmes have been certified or started using ICP in several countries in Europe since then.

ICP has been recognized as a best practice throughout Europe, notably in the European Commission's "Winter Package," a major energy policy update, where it cites ICP Europe as "best practice" to maximize investor interest in buildings requiring energy efficiency upgrades. Paul Hodson, Head of the European Commission's energy effi ciency unit, said: "The potential of the Investor Confidence Project to de-risk energy efficiency investments has been recognised by the Commission. The ICP approach addresses the needs of investors looking for standardised projects that reduce the time, risk, and costs involved in funding energy efficiency building retrofits."

In 2017, ICP became part of Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), as one of their portfolio of green certifications which includes LEED and GRESB. This partnership will build upon the successes of its start-up phase, supported by Horizon 2020, and enable ICP to develop into a selfsustaining certification system. It will also open new geographical markets for ICP, streamline its Training and Credentials programme, and increase the number of ICP Project Developers and Quality Assurance providers working to deliver IREETM projects across markets.

In early 2017 the European Commission further recognised the importance of ICP by awarding a new grant to extend ICP into industrial, street lighting and district energy projects.

Contact details:
Dr. Steven Fawkes, ICP Senior Advisor

Quitterie de Rivoyre, ICP Project Manager

1. Energy Efficiency - the first fuel for the EU Economy - How to drive new finance for energy efficiency investments – Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group – commissioned by EC & UNEP