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Energy Finance Resource Center

Read more about this Tool

Energy finance is one of the fastest growing areas of development finance nationwide. The steep upfront costs are a barrier to implementing energy-efficient and clean energy projects. These projects are more accessible with incentivizing financing tools. A variety of financing tools exist to encourage energy efficiency and alternative clean energy generation projects on every scale, from residential, commercial, and industrial properties to entire communities.


Energy finance has become a driving force in the economic development efforts of communities. Grants, loan guarantees, revolving loan funds, and tax credits are some of the major development tools of the energy finance sector. Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is another popular, innovative tool for commercial, industrial, and residential energy projects. On-bill financing and green bonds are other emerging financing tools for renewable energy financing. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) also play active roles in financing energy development. The development finance tools for funding energy projects can improve energy efficiency, provide alternative clean energy generation, or assist with large scale energy distribution.


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-Understanding Energy Finance

Financing clean energy is a fast-growing field, and successfully financing energy can catalyze the economic development efforts of communities nationwide. This section contains resources on understanding the basics of energy financing.

Read more about Energy Finance

Financing Low-Carbon Buildings and Energy Efficiency in the Green Bond MarketMembers only Login
There are substantial opportunities to leverage green bonds to finance low-carbon buildings and energy efficiency in the country. Issuance across the world shows that capital markets can be accessed to finance energy efficiency and buildings. Financing climate adaptation and resilience also presents opportunities.
Solar Lending Practices by Community and Regional Financial Institutions Members only Login
Current projections of solar photovoltaic (PV) system costs and deployment in the United States indicate substantial capital requirements over the next 30 years and beyond. Concurrently, community and regional financial institutions (CRFIs), including community banks and credit unions, collectively hold $3.6 trillion in assets. These institutions could provide a significant portion of the required PV capital while creating a large investment opportunity for themselves. Looking ahead, access to additional credit and market information is critical for accelerating the role of CRFIs and other financial institutions in supporting U.S. PV growth.
Energy Investment Partnerships: What Is It & How to Get Started
CDFA and the U.S. Department of Energy have partnered to produce the Energy Investment Partnerships Webinar Series and a set of four Fact Sheets. Each Fact Sheet will summarize the best practices covered in the corresponding webinar and provides quick and easy access to the best practices and information available in the webinar.
Green Revolving Funds: A Guide to Implementation & ManagementMembers only Login
This guide from ICF International for the Sustainable Endowments Institute provides a comprehensive overview of green revolving funds including anatomy of a revolving fund, steps to a successful fund, common obstacles to implementation and more.
Solar Energy Investment Tax CreditsMembers only Login
This fact sheet from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency provides a details on the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) program as it relates to solar energy. The sheet overviews the program and discusses how the tax credits can benefit banks.

-Resources

View all Energy Finance Resources

-Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)

Looking for the PACE Resource Center? Click Here!

Mortgage Lender’s Guide to C-PACE: Lender Consent
To document the C-PACE financing, most programs require mortgage holders to consent to the assessment because, like other property tax assessments, the claim for delinquent C-PACE payments is typically on par with normal property taxes.
CDFA – Bricker PACE Webinars: C-PACE Program Design: How Statutes, Programs, and Markets Come Together
This is the third webinar of the CDFA-Bricker PACE Webinar Series: C-PACE Program Design: How Statutes, Programs, and Markets Come Together moderated by Chris Jones from Bricker & Eckler LLP. Speakers included: Clifton Kellogg with C-PACE Alliance, Josh Smith with Petros PACE Finance, LLC, Michael Yaki with CleanFund Commercial PACE Capital, Inc.
Highlighting PACE Projects in Opportunity Zones - Rachel Davis--Chris Jones--Colin-KalvasMembers only Login
Rachel Davis, Chris Jones, and Colin Kalvas from Bricker & Eckler presents on Highlighting PACE Projects in Opportunity Zones in Ohio during the Ohio Roundtable.
CDFA – Bricker PACE Webinars: C-PACE Transactions from Start to Finish
This is the second webinar of the CDFA-Bricker PACE Webinar Series: C-PACE Transactions from Start to Finish. Speakers included: Caleb Bell with Bricker & Eckler, Jeremy Druhot with Columbus-Franklin County Finance Authority, Josh Hertzer with Ohio PACE, and Andrew Meyer with Twain Financial Partners.
CDFA Food Finance White Paper Series: Food Systems & Targeted Tools
This white paper is part of a series examining the potential creation of a food systems asset class which supports the market growth of local and regional food systems. This paper focuses specifically on targeted financing tools that can be used to geographically target local and regional food system developments.
View more PACE Resources

-Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

Summary of the GREEN Act Discussion Draft
This is a section-by-section summary of the Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now ("GREEN") Act. The GREEN Act would extend the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit (ITC) until 2024. It would also extend the Section 25D, Section 179D and Section 45L energy-efficiency deductions and credits through 2024, as well as create energy credits for manufacturers.
Reducing Energy Burden for Low-income Residents in Multifamily Housing with Solar Energy Members only Login
When paired with energy efficiency measures, cost effective solar energy systems can support state and local program administrators’ goals to reduce low-income household energy burden. Energy burden is the share or percentage of annual household income that is used to pay annual home heating and cooling costs.
Solar Lending Practices by Community and Regional Financial Institutions Members only Login
Current projections of solar photovoltaic (PV) system costs and deployment in the United States indicate substantial capital requirements over the next 30 years and beyond. Concurrently, community and regional financial institutions (CRFIs), including community banks and credit unions, collectively hold $3.6 trillion in assets. These institutions could provide a significant portion of the required PV capital while creating a large investment opportunity for themselves. Looking ahead, access to additional credit and market information is critical for accelerating the role of CRFIs and other financial institutions in supporting U.S. PV growth.
Direct Federal Financial Interventions and Subsidies in Energy in Fiscal Year 2016Members only Login
This report—an update based on Fiscal Year 2016 data—continues a series of U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports on federal direct financial interventions and subsidies into energy markets. EIA assigns within-scope U.S. tax and direct expenditures to a set of discrete energy system categories.
Minnesota Clean Energy: Economic Impacts and Policy DriversMembers only Login
A new University of Minnesota study projects that the extension of the PTC and ITC programs may, in combination with other factors, create up to 5,000 jobs in the renewable energy industry in Minnesota.
View more Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC) Resources

-Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit (PTC)

Summary of the GREEN Act Discussion Draft
This is a section-by-section summary of the Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now ("GREEN") Act. The GREEN Act would extend the renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit (ITC) until 2024. It would also extend the Section 25D, Section 179D and Section 45L energy-efficiency deductions and credits through 2024, as well as create energy credits for manufacturers.
Direct Federal Financial Interventions and Subsidies in Energy in Fiscal Year 2016Members only Login
This report—an update based on Fiscal Year 2016 data—continues a series of U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports on federal direct financial interventions and subsidies into energy markets. EIA assigns within-scope U.S. tax and direct expenditures to a set of discrete energy system categories.
Minnesota Clean Energy: Economic Impacts and Policy DriversMembers only Login
A new University of Minnesota study projects that the extension of the PTC and ITC programs may, in combination with other factors, create up to 5,000 jobs in the renewable energy industry in Minnesota.
Brownfields to Renewables: Redeveloping Contaminated Lands with Renewable Generation FacilitiesMembers only Login
Bjorn Jensen's 2010 Thesis for MIT focuses on using renewable energy generation to facilitate brownfield remediation, examining three successful and one unsuccessful case study to understand best practices and common hurdles.
Equity, Tax Credit & Incentive ProgramMembers only Login
Stephen Pearlman with Pearlman & Miranda, LLC shares detailed information on solar power purchase agreements including: advantages and disadvantages, risks, deal structuring, and several case studies.
View more Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) Resources

-State Energy Tax Credits

Energy Investment Partnerships: Product Offerings & Market Assessment
Factsheet 2 of the Energy Investment Partnerships covers clean energy through bond markets, credit enhancements and capital markets, property assessed clean energy, and market assessment.
Measuring Success in the States
Sandy Fazeli from the National Association of State Energy Officials will present ways some states have financed and already seen success with energy programs on the state levels
Making it Count: Understanding the Value of Energy Efficiency Financing Programs Funded by Utility CustomersMembers only Login
The State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network examines various policy and regulatory mechanisms that can be used to ensure that efficiency financing initiatives provide value for society and protection for consumers. Featuring case studies from around the United States, Making it Count explores emerging questions that jurisdictions will need to answer when considering an increased reliance on financing.
Equity, Tax Credit & Incentive ProgramMembers only Login
Stephen Pearlman with Pearlman & Miranda, LLC shares detailed information on solar power purchase agreements including: advantages and disadvantages, risks, deal structuring, and several case studies.
Equity Tax Credit and Incentive ProgramsMembers only Login
Joel Cohn of CohnReznick details the basics of energy tax credits, renewable energy market drivers, state incentives, and more.
View more State Energy Tax Credits Resources

-Energy Revolving Loan Funds

Measuring Success in the States
Sandy Fazeli from the National Association of State Energy Officials will present ways some states have financed and already seen success with energy programs on the state levels
Local EIP Example of Evaluating Impact
.Duanne Andrade from Solar Energy Loan Fund talk about lessons learned and the success seen from SELF as they have adapted to meet the needs of the community.
Opportunities in Debt and Capital Financing MarketsMembers only Login
Teveia Barnes from IBank gives a brief overview of IBank's various financial programs.
Financing for Energy Efficiency and The SAVES PlatformMembers only Login
Greg Montgomery of Abundant Power provides an overview of several programs involving energy efficiency financing. This includes PACE and SC Saves.
View more Energy Revolving Loan Funds Resources

-Energy Efficiency Programs

Clean Energy For Low Income Communities ToolkitMembers only Login
The Clean Energy for Low Income Communities Accelerator (CELICA) was a voluntary partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and state and local governments to lower energy bills for low-income communities.
RI Clean Energy Industry Report 2018Members only Login
With aggressive targets, Rhode Island’s overall clean energy economy continues to grow. The industry’s workforce has grown by 72 percent since 2014, resulting in 6,650 new jobs across the state.
Financing the Energy Efficiency Market - Fannie MaeMembers only Login
Rita Ballesteros with Fannie Mae presents on their role in energy-related financing solutions.
State of the PACE Market & Energy Efficiency in VirginiaMembers only Login
After eight years of effort, PACE has finally launched in Virginia. Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing is taking hold across the country through several innovative programs, and Virginia is no different. Designed to support the expansion of energy efficiency, solar, water, wind power and other renewable energy installations for the benefit of commercial buildings, PACE programs capitalize reduction in energy usage by paying for property improvements through voluntary special assessments placed on property tax bills over time. Abigail Johnson of Abacus Property Solutions, Rich Dooley of Arlington County Department of Environmental Services, Susan Elliott of City of Charlottesville, Daniel Farrell of the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy, and Laura Franke of PFM explore the latest PACE developments in Virginia, as well as explain the basic concepts of the tool and how it is beneficial for local governments and property owners in the region.
View more Energy Efficiency Program Resources

-State Energy Finance Programs

Regional Resilience Toolkit: 5 Steps to Build Large Scale Resilience to Natural DisasterMembers only Login
Cities, regions, and states across the country are facing natural disasters that can have devastating effects on life, property, the economy, and ecosystems. Climate change is already having observable effects on the environment, and past conditions are no longer a reliable indication of the type or extent of disasters communities will face in the future.
Farmers' Guide to Solar and Wind Energy in MNMembers only Login
In 2017, Minnesota ranked seventh in the nation for wind power generation and sixth in the nation for solar power generation With the potential for further growth in this sector, many farmers across rural Minnesota are considering whether alternative energy production could be a viable addition to their farming operations.
RI Clean Energy Industry Report 2018Members only Login
With aggressive targets, Rhode Island’s overall clean energy economy continues to grow. The industry’s workforce has grown by 72 percent since 2014, resulting in 6,650 new jobs across the state.
Energy Efficiency Financing ProgramsMembers only Login
Investments in clean energy and infrastructure projects are growing rapidly, and the need for sustainable financing solutions becomes more important every day. From new production facilities and renewable energy source development to the retrofitting and renovation of existing buildings and systems, energy finance has become a driving force in the economic development community.
Vermont Economic Development Authority - Energy Saving and Conservation Finance ProgramsMembers only Login
Thomas Porter, VEDA Sr. Commercial Loan Officer, presents energy saving and conservation finance programs that are available in Vermont.
View more State Energy Finance Program Resources

-Programs Map

Search the map below for energy finance programs by state. This specialized search is part of CDFA's State Financing Program Directory, the only online resource cataloging the development finance programs offered by state governments. Click on a state to see a sample of state energy programs available. Login with a CDFA Member account at the top of the page to view full results.

-Case Studies

Idaho Economic Development Association Summer 2019 ReportMembers only Login
This summer 2019 performance report from the Idaho Economic Development Association discusses economic development in Idaho and offers several case studies.
CDFA – Bricker PACE Webinars: PACE 101: The Basics of PACE Financing
This is the first webinar of the CDFA-Bricker PACE Webinar Series: PACE 101: The Basics of PACE Financing. Speakers included: Colin Kalvas with Bricker & Eckler, Colin Bishopp with PACENation, Dustin Reilich with Renovate America, and Andrew Zech with Greenworks Lending.
USDA Report on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity 2019Members only Login
On April 25, 2017, the President of the United States established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity through Executive Order 13790. The purpose and function of the Task Force was to identify legislative, regulatory, and policy changes to promote agriculture, economic development, job growth, infrastructure improvements, technological innovation, energy security, and quality of life in rural America.
Iowa's Biomass Conversion Action Plan 2018Members only Login
Consumption of renewable energy in the United States is at the highest level in history, contributing to energy security and other economic and environmental benefits. The largest single source of renewable energy is biomass, representing nearly half of renewable energy consumed in 2016.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Picking Up the PACE State by StateMembers only Login
During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series, Caleb Bell with Bricker & Eckler LLP and David Gabrielson with PACENation discussed the best practices in crafting PACE enabling legislation as well as case studies of some of the most effective legislation to date.
View more Case Studies

-Headlines

-Publications

Practitioner's Guide to Economic Development Finance
The Practitioner's Guide to Economic Development Finance 2nd Edition is the only comprehensive resource dedicated to building and utilizing the development finance toolbox. The Practitioner's Guide provides the insight and practical information needed to critically understand how economic development is financed and the tools, strategies and techniques used to build strong communities. From bonds, tax increment finance and special districts to tax credits, seed & venture capital, revolving loan funds and much more, this Guide outlines the financing tools required for succeeding in today's competitive economic development climate.
Unlocking Capital: A Handbook for Becoming a High Performing Development Finance Agency
Unlocking Capital: A Handbook for Becoming a High Performing Development Finance Agency (Handbook) serves as a companion to the Practitioner’s Guide to help illuminate the structures of development finance agencies (DFAs), essential conduits to access development finance tools. The Handbook provides an overview of DFAs and their myriad roles in various development efforts. Included in this discussion is a comprehensive look at over a dozen high-performing DFAs throughout the country. The Handbook is designed to be a starting point for local leaders to engage in the creation or acceleration of a DFA to build and utilize the development finance toolbox.
View more Publications

-Training Courses

The Intro Energy & Water Finance Course begins with an overview of the complex energy development industry and introduces attendees to the terminology and technology driving this movement. We will then examine the entire spectrum of energy financing solutions from bonds to revolving loan funds and innovative incentive programs available to businesses, home owners, development professionals, investors, and government entities.

The Intro Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Finance WebCourse will explore the process of creating, operating and maintaining a community based PACE program. This two day course will feature a comprehensive overview of PACE including program design, capital markets analysis, investor attraction, legal and regulatory considerations, market potential, operations and much more.

View more Training Courses

-Upcoming Events

Fundamentals of Economic Development Finance WebCourse
January 29-30, 2020
Daily: 12:00 - 5:00 PM Eastern
The Fundamentals WebCourse is the foundation for all of CDFA’s educational offerings. This course helps attendees understand the variety of development finance tools available, from bonds, tax credits and TIF, to federal financing programs, RLFs, and access to capital lending resources.
Register
CDFA Federal Policy Conference
April 14-15, 2020
Washington, DC
The federal government plays a critical role in driving private and public investment in innovation, job creation, infrastructure, and community development. With the 2020 presidential election quickly approaching, development finance will be a key policy issue across the nation. The 116th Congress will also play a major role in shaping our country’s economic development policy going forward. It's up to the development finance community to focus the national discussion on smart federal policy, and CDFA is the voice of the economic development finance community on Capitol Hill. For these reasons, CDFA will host its CDFA Federal Policy Conference on April 14-15 in Washington DC.
Register
View more Upcoming Events

-Webcasts

CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Picking Up the PACE State by StateMembers only Login
During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series, Caleb Bell with Bricker & Eckler LLP and David Gabrielson with PACENation discussed the best practices in crafting PACE enabling legislation as well as case studies of some of the most effective legislation to date.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: The Food System - Thinking Outside of the SiloMembers only Login
During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series, Barry Kukovich with Peoples Gas, Glenn Ford with InCity Farms and Rick Terrien with Artisan Food Networks, thought outside the silo and recognized the food system as an economic development tool by discussing innovative financing to fill the gaps of regional food systems.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Bonds + Financing SustainabilityMembers only Login
Bonds are considered the bedrock tool for development finance because of their common use funding traditional projects however they also can be adaptable for new types of projects. In the current day and age sustainability has become a key focus in development finance and bonds have more frequently been used to finance this new wave of projects. During this installment of the BNY Mellon // CDFA Webcast Series Sharon Wojda from the City of Bend, Oregon, and Stephen Pearlman from Pearlman & Miranda, LLC., will look at outside the box ideas for issuing bonds to fund sustainable areas of finance including renewable energy, adaptive reuse for infrastructure and sustainable water solutions.
CDFA & OSU Webcast: Using the Successes of Energy Finance to Guide Progress in Food Systems Finance
The CDFA & OSU Webcast was a special one time offering. The webcast covered the Energy Finance Landscape and explored how its successes may be applied to the Food Systems Landscape. This webcast was run by students taking the graduate level Sustainable Financing class in the Department of City and Regional Planning at The Ohio State University.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Capturing the Success of High Performing DFA'sMembers only Login
This month’s CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series on Capturing the Success of High Performing DFA's featured Tim Fisher of CDFA, Paul Toth of Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, Gary Smith of Chester County Economic Development Council, Samuele Bozzolla of Allegheny County, and Juan Salgado of Phoenix Industrial Development Authority.
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CDFA National Sponsors

  • Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority
  • Baker Tilly Virchow Krause
  • BNY Mellon
  • Bricker & Eckler LLP
  • Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
  • Business Oregon
  • CohnReznick
  • FBT Project Finance Advisors LLC
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • Frost Brown Todd, LLC
  • Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP
  • Ice Miller LLP
  • KeyBanc Capital Markets
  • Kutak Rock LLP
  • McCarter & English, LLP
  • McGuireWoods
  • MuniCap, Inc.
  • NW Financial Group, LLC
  • Petros PACE Finance
  • SB Friedman Development Advisors
  • Stern Brothers
  • Stifel Nicolaus
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo Securities
  • Wilmington Trust
  • Z. The Bond Buyer
Become a Sponsor