More than 200 energy efficiency loan programs in 49 states are administered by utilities, state/local government agencies, or private lenders. This distributed model for efficiency financing has led to significant variation in program design and implementation practices including how data is collected and used. Inconsistencies in data definitions and collection pose challenges for consolidating and aggregating data across programs. These inconsistencies curb opportunities for increasing efficiency as an energy resource.
Energy Efficiency Finance Programs: Use-case Analysis to Define Data Needs and Guidelines is a new report issued by the State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network's Financing Solutions Working Group and prepared by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The report makes the case for establishment of common data collection practices for energy efficiency lending. Common data collection and reporting practices could be beneficial to two key stakeholder groups:
- Program administrators and policy makers could learn lessons about more effective program design from the comparative analysis of data from diverse program types and approaches.
- Lenders and investors could use loan performance data to more accurately account for risk and thereby potentially increase lending and lower financing costs. Consistent data collection may also provide an enhanced ability to sell loan pools to replenish program funds.
The report reviews existing practices for the collection of four categories of data from energy efficiency financing programs: (1) customer data; (2) financial product and performance data; (3) facility-level data; and (4) energy efficiency project data. The report then identifies high-priority needs, characterizes potential uses for finance program data, and identifies use cases that describe how stakeholders use data for key objectives and actions. The following topics are addressed:
- Rationales for collecting more consistent data from energy efficiency finance programs;
- Discussion of energy efficiency finance program use cases;
- Challenges with collecting information from customers who participate in finance programs; and
- Issues with data consolidation and aggregation across multiple finance programs.
To view the full report, click here.