New York Citi, in collaboration with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), is convening a group of nearly 150 practitioners on energy efficiency finance today to explore opportunities on how to build and scale the energy efficiency financing market. At the event, Citi will be announcing its goal to develop and replicate a suite of solutions that will direct significant financing for energy efficiency retrofits over the next 18-24 months.
"Our focus on the energy efficiency financing market aligns with our commitment to Responsible Finance and complements our market leadership in renewable energy," said Marshal Salant, Head of Citi's Alternative Energy Finance group. "Finding financing solutions to bring energy efficiency projects to scale will deliver a host of important financial, social and environmental benefits to our clients and stakeholders including lower costs, reduced environmental impacts and greater opportunities for economic development and jobs."
Citi and EDF's relationship on energy efficiency began in 2008 when the two groups worked together with other banks, NGOs and utilities on the Carbon Principles. These are guidelines for banks financing coal-fired power in the U.S. that included diligence to assess efficiency opportunities. Citi further demonstrated its commitment to energy efficiency by participating in EDF's Climate Corps program this year.
"Considering the tremendous business and environmental opportunities available through leveraging large-scale private capital into the commercial building sector, we are excited by Citi's commitment to energy efficiency finance solutions ," said Diane Regas, VP of Programs at EDF. "We are pleased to see Citi's work on initiatives such as Carbon Principles and EDF Climate Corps, and we look forward to continuing to work with Citi and others on developing this ever-important market that will help stabilize our climate and strengthen our economy."
Using data from a 2009 McKinsey study, EDF estimates that there are at least $40 billion of investment opportunities for energy efficiency projects in commercial buildings in the U.S. alone that will provide annual returns in excess of 20 percent. Despite this attractive potential, few of these projects are being funded. Today's meeting is designed to facilitate discussion of current and emerging innovative solutions, new partnerships, learnings from recent transactions and remaining obstacles to developing and scaling the market.
EDF and Citi are both working to better understand and solve the problems that will allow for aggregation, standardization, scale and participation by institutional investors. Efforts include EDF's recent white paper Show Me The Money: Energy Efficiency Financing Barriers and Opportunities and Citi's recent role as sole underwriter in the bond deal to finance Delaware's Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU).
One of the key presenters at the event will be John Byrne, co-chairman of the Sustainable Energy Utility in Delaware, and co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize as a member of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). "We are working with Citi to showcase the SEU model, a 'killer app' that can be replicated across the U.S. and around the world. The endorsement of the SEU model by the Asian Development Bank at its June Clean Energy Forum is indicative of the global interest in our approach," Dr. Byrne said.
Citi began pursuing efficiency nearly 10 years ago when it undertook an assessment of its own global energy usage and measures it could take to become more efficient. Today, Citi has set a goal to decrease absolute emissions globally 25 percent by 2015 from a 2005 baseline and was the only bank to be named a 2011 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Bridging internal technical expertise with banking capabilities across the firm has been a key factor in building energy efficiency finance understanding and capabilities. The convening is an extension of Citi's recent commitment as a Financial Ally in President Obama's Better Buildings Challenge.
Citi, the leading global financial services company, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
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