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.
Want regular updates on energy finance? Subscribe to CDFA's Energy & Water Finance Update
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.
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.
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.
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.
California Rural Infrastructure Finance Guidebook
CALED knows from its work supporting economic development throughout California that infrastructure financing is a challenge for many rural communities. CALED collaborated with CDFA to develop this guidebook to meet the need for a resource to help build capacity in those areas, as well as move economic development projects forward.
Introduction to C-PACE in New YorkMembers only Login
Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) provides long-term, low-cost financing for energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy projects for commercial buildings. Unlike traditional financing, repayment is secured through a benefit assessment lien that is subordinate to municipal taxes, but senior to all other liens. Financing automatically transfers to a new owner if the property is sold.
CDFA – Bricker PACE Webinars: PACE 101: The Basics of PACE Financing
View more Case Studies
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.
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
View more Publications
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.
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
Weekly Development Finance COVID-19 Briefing
Every Friday, March 27 - May 29, 2020
1:00 PM Eastern
CDFA will be hosting a weekly briefing about development finance COVID-19 news and resources. These one-hour phone calls will feature legislative updates, news from our members, state and local financing strategies, and lessons learned from previous development finance responses to disasters.
CDFA Federal Policy Conference (cancelled)
View more Upcoming Events
April 14-15, 2020
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.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Bonds + Financing SustainabilityMembers only Login
View more Webcasts
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.