Financials tools for sustainable buildings

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Mountee partners have studied 18 financials tools implemented in various european regions.

Three main types of tools are used:

  • Optimization of services, tools and instruments: used to optimize the costs during the conception phase, such as advisory services, assessment tools, life cycle buildings costs calculation tools.
  • Direct subsidies: bring direct money for building owner during the project, reducing the payback time. These tools are mostly public but white certificates is a market tool
  • Indirect financial tools and instruments: reduced rate loan, third party financing.These tools give an easier access to money but have no influence on payback time.

Various types of financial tools are in use in each country/region – but there is no ideal instrument yet!  All regions have a combination of different tools. Some examples of financial and strategical tools are described on MountEE website.

One of the main problem is that financials tools exists, but banks are rarely interested in supporting projects because they are not really economically interesting for them (long pay back time…). Reduce rate loan seems to be efficient but quite complicate, subsidies can be used to bring the best practices to the standard market. They can help to finance the higher prices of the first pilot projects but mass oriented subsidies can lead to raise the market price.

All tools are linked with access conditions and assessment tools. In many cases, these conditions to access the financing and the use of assessment tools are too complicated and too technical for the customers  but also for the banks.  The simplest systems are the best!chambery

A link is also needed between tools, the market and the regulation. For example, with a strong thermal regulation on new buildings, no subsidies are needed anymore.

To conclude, there are no ready-made solutions, each region needs to implement a ‘tool kit’ composed of a combination of instruments depending on the step of development and on the target:

–      Starting phase : need of best practice examples as front runner project, to attract decision makers and pave the way to the market;

–      Mass oriented phase : all actors are ready, instruments’ market can work alone.

Etienne Vienot (RAEE)

Author: Etienne Vienot (RAEE)

I am project manager in charge of european projects at the regional energy agency of Rhône-Alpes.

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