Energy Performance Contracting promoted – ESI

Energy Savings Insurance is being promoted overseas. Yet, Australians were attempting to get a similar scheme going termed ‘Energy Performance Contracting’ back the 2003. The only significant support for the scheme was the Australian Capital Territory Government funding support and a handful of Federal Agencies piloting the scheme. At that time the champion was Stephen Oster and we found a reference he made back in June 2011: “I did a lot of work in 2003/04 trying to get business to take up “Energy Savings Insurance”, or as we call it in Australia, Energy Performance Contracting. We managed to secure funding from the Australian Capital Territory Government to pay for all the initial consulting and set-up work for business (http://www.energetics.com.au/newsroom/media_releases/energy_performance_…). Despite the removal of one of the big barriers, we still couldn’t get any significant traction. Ultimately I think people believe if something seems to be too good to be true, it probably is. In the case of Energy Performance Contracts, the idea of an investment with significant economic returns being low risk, just didn’t make sense to most business people. A couple of old but still useful resources can be found at http://www.eec.org.au/Best%20Practice%20Guides “.

CO2Land org knows all to well that innovation is a very difficult space and as Steve said in this country getting significant traction for good ideas can fail without good reason. We have to ponder why? Is the Carbon Farming Initiative heading to the scrap heap for the same reason – another discussion for later?

More recently: Scott DeGaro, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon posted on LinkedIn the following discussing called ‘Have You Heard of Energy Savings Insurance’ and he referred to his article regarding the proposed LEED 2012 version. He also acknowledged contributions of Rob Freeman for regular, monthly article on Green Buildings and what’s happening. “Rob is also the impetus behind this first article regarding Energy Savings Insurance (ESI). This is a new form of insurance that may have an impact on Sustainability and LEED projects in the coming years….The concept focus of ESI is bonds and other financing tools with the potential for great benefit in the energy savings market and should continue to grow in availability, use and understanding in the coming years as energy efficiency continues to be a growing aspect of building owner operations….ESI may find a market as projects that promise energy savings, but fail to deliver, become more well known… Perhaps the most visible case of this right now is the Destiny USA project in Syracuse, NY. In a nutshell, the developer proposed a large number of energy conservation measures and LEED certification in order to obtain low-interest government loans. Throughout the project, there were a number of financial difficulties and stoppages in work. At present it appears that many of features were not included in the project, which is cause for question and an investigation by the government regarding the loans. This project and related investigation will probably take many years before everything is settled”.

CO2Land org at this point asks if a hypothesis test might prove ‘where government support is required it becomes more difficult to overcome suspicion “it is too good to be true”’!

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