Berkeley Lab and Citi Train Bankers on Building Energy Efficiency Financing

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Through the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center Building Energy Efficiency (CERC-BEE) program, the U.S. Department of Energy, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and U.S. industry, are working together to accelerate the research, development and deployment (RD&D) of advanced building energy efficiency technologies. A cornerstone of the program is R&D on building energy efficiency financing product innovation to unlock primary and secondary market capital in the United States and China to scale market adoption of energy efficiency technologies in both countries.

On December 11th and 14th, 2017, as part of CERC-BEE, Carolyn Szum, Program Manager at Berkeley Lab, and Bruce Schlein, Director of Community Reinvestment Act Business Strategy at Citi, delivered an innovative technical training on building energy efficiency financing to corporate and investment bankers at Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) — the fourth largest bank in the world — and 200 bankers from Ma'anshan Rural-Commercial Bank (MRCB) — which aims to be the world's first green commercial bank.

The objective of the training was to establish a shared understanding of the fundamental economic proposition and challenges of building energy efficiency finance; discuss current models of building energy efficiency finance in the United States and China, barriers overcome, and remaining challenges and determine the extent to which U.S. models, or derivatives thereof, can be applied in China and vice-versa, in support of a high-level objective of scaling financing in building energy efficiency projects in both markets.

As a result of the training on building energy efficiency financing, ABC agreed to work with Berkeley Lab and Citi under CERC-BEE to develop and deploy new energy efficiency financing products, to generally increase financing for energy efficiency and to work toward underwriting the first asset-backed security for energy efficiency in China. As a result of the training to 200 MRCB staff, Berkeley Lab and Citi were invited to serve as Co-Chairs of MRCB's R&D and Financial Product Innovation Working Group. In this capacity, Berkeley Lab and Citi will work with MRCB to provide high-level strategic guidance to increase the bank's total green loan portfolio to 60%, increase the green financing products offered by the bank to 70%, develop innovative building energy efficiency financing products that will serve U.S. companies with energy efficiency technologies and work toward structuring a large-scale energy efficiency financing deal that involves U.S. CERC-BEE technologies and solutions.

For more information on the CERC-BEE building energy efficiency financing initiative, please email ccszum@lbl.gov.