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Using Equity Capital to Unlock Investment in Building Energy Efficiency?

DIW Weekly Report 19 / 2015, S. 259-265

Claus Michelsen, Karsten Neuhoff, Anne Schopp

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The energy transition will require considerable increases in energy efficiency, particularly in residential buildings. Financial support mechanisms, information and adviceprograms and dedicated training and certification of craftsmen are already in place to stimulate energy efficiency investment. Nevertheless, the required annual rate of thermal building refurbishment of around two percent is so far not achieved. For some real estate owners this may be explained by a investment horizon that is shorter than lifetime and repayment period of energy efficiency investment projects. The reluctance may also be due to an inadequate risk assessment by investors. Alternative financing approaches that rely mainly on the principle of coupling the revenues of the investment to actual energy cost savings and the increased involvement of equity capital might in such instances contribute to increasing investment activity. Particularly, in the current phase of low interest rates, there is more investment pressure on institutional investors whose willingness to participate in energy efficiency projects is likely to have increased substantially. Experience in other countries has however moderated expectations of being able to trigger greater short-term stimuli with innovative financial instruments. Nevertheless, given the challenges of the energy transition, further investigation of innovative financial concepts also based on equity funding seems warranted.

Karsten Neuhoff

Head of Department in the Climate Policy Department

JEL-Classification: G11;G23;G24;Q2;R31
Keywords: Gebäudeenergieeffizienz; Immobilienfinanzierung; Alternative Finanzierungskonzepte; Energieeffizienzfonds
Frei zugängliche Version: (econstor)