This Week in Sustainability: Encouraging Investment in Green Building and Energy Efficiency

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This Week in Sustainability: Encouraging Investment in Green Building and Energy Efficiency

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clip_image002This week The Guardian examined the challenge of finding inexpensive financing and attracting Wall Street investors for retrofits aimed at improving energy efficiency. According to the report, relatively small retrofitting projects can make good financial sense because they provide future savings with low risk. But the challenge with finding investors is that the projects are too small—often in the neighborhood of around $3 to $5 million per project-to attract investors like Goldman Sachs or Barclays, which typically require projects total nearly 20 times that amount. That’s one reason why many states are passing new legislation to help finance these projects, which Deutsche Bank and the Rockefeller Foundation has estimated could represent a market worth $279 billion. States such as South Carolina have piloted programs with federal funding that enable property owners to make upgrades and pay for improvements over time with their property taxes—a sensible approach that could unleash investment in energy efficiency measures from insulating windows to software dashboards that manage energy consumption.
Also in news in sustainable construction, Earth Techling reported that The US Green Building Council (USGBC) recently partnered with the Green Sports Alliance to support sustainable building practices in professional and collegiate sports. While there are already 25 stadiums across the country that are LEED certified, these efforts will aim to further curb energy usage at the venues that can host as many as 100,000 attendees during events. The first step for the partnership will be producing a toolkit to advance green schools through sports. The Green Sports Alliance also hosted its third annual summit this week, which included a panel on leveraging technology for energy management.

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