Goal: To apply capital on a transformative scale to investments across all energy sectors in Vermont through innovative public/private partnerships.
The focus of EAN’s Capital Mobilization work group has been our “Clean Energy Finance Initiative” (CEFI). In close partnership with the Coalition for Green Capital and State agencies, EAN convened CEFI to conduct a market assessment and develop specific finance strategies to build markets and drive Vermont’s energy transformation. The CEFI Steering Committee includes the Public Service Department (PSD), Agency of Commerce and Community Development, the State Treasurer, Clean Energy Development Fund, Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA), VT/NH USDA, Efficiency Vermont, Department of Financial Regulation, and the High Meadows Fund.
CLEAN ENERGY FINANCE COLLABORATIVE
The centerpiece outcome of EAN’s CEFI is the successful formation of a new Vermont Clean Energy Finance Collaborative, led by the PSD in partnership with existing Vermont institutions. The purpose of the Collaborative is to expand clean energy markets through public/private financing partnerships.
EAN network members initiated or partnered on a range of significant clean energy finance initiatives including the following highlights:
VSECU’S HEAT SAVING LOAN PROGRAM
Vermont State Employee Credit Union (VSECU) partnered with the Clean Energy Development Fund, Efficiency Vermont’s “Efficiency Excellence Network”, and Opportunities Credit Union to provide easy, affordable financing for thermal energy efficiency upgrades and investments.
Union Mutual of Vermont and Efficiency Vermont are exploring a new insurance/financing partnership to utilize underwriting savings from home weatherization as an incentive for homeowners to invest in thermal efficiency.
QUALIFIED ENERGY CONSERVATION BONDS
Like many states across the country, Vermont has not yet been able to utilize any of its $6.4 million Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECB) allocation due to program constraints. EAN has partnered with the Energy Programs Consortium, the State Treasurer and local partners such as NeighborWorks of Western Vermont to identify strategies for accessing these funds. This work is still in process.
EFFICIENCY VERMONT RURAL UTILITY SERVICE LOAN PROGRAM
A new federally financed loan program providing $46 million in low interest financing to expand access to clean energy improvements for all Vermonters.