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Ah, Vienna! Passive house gets active on energy efficiency finance

Ah, Vienna! Passive house gets active on energy efficiency finance

The movement towards energy efficiency financing continues to gather pace – and now the international passive house community are joining in. Taking place on 25 April, the Vienna Energy Efficiency Finance Forum kicks off the International Passive House conference week.  “We’re aiming to make energy efficiency the new normal across the globe,” according to Rob Conboy and David Benjamin, co-instigators of the finance forum.

“We’re really excited about the response to the Forum,” says Rob Conboy, CEO of North American energy efficiency consultancy better, who are hosting the event, along with the North American Passive House Network, Passivhaus Austria, and members of the European energy efficiency financing community such as Joule Assets, denkstatt, Responsible Investment Banking and the Investor Confidence Project.

“Investors, financiers, insurance company and risk management experts from all over the world are travelling to Vienna to meet developers, building contractors and architects to make deals and promote the investment in energy efficient and sustainable buildings,” says Conboy. “We’re already planning a follow-up event for European Sustainable Energy Week in June.”

The finance forum agenda sets the stage for interactive exchange between project owners and investors with a focus on deal volume, credit viability and problem solving.

“There has been huge progress made in recent years on energy efficiency financing – with investors getting increasingly interested in the opportunity, and the invaluable work of the Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group (EEFIG). Performance based building standards like Passivhaus can mitigate the financial risk by significantly reducing and fixing the operating cost,” says Dr. Witta Ebel of the Passivhaus Institute.

Angela Köppl, economist and sustainability expert from the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) will speak at the Forum on options to advance climate change mitigation and adaptation.

“Disruptive technologies and energy services are central to transforming energy systems to meet the challenges of the Paris Agreement. This implies an increase in energy productivity along the whole energy chain with a special role for buildings and mobility, the search for green finance and new business models,” says Dr. Köppl. “The Vienna International Forum on Energy Efficiency Finance will help to stimulate these developments,” she adds.

An innovative feature of the event is a Deal Room – where project promoters, developers and financiers can identify opportunities to do business. Investors and contractors/developers are welcome to present – prospective participants are invited to submit their projects for consideration. “With the deal room, we’re hoping to improve the ratio of deals to conferences on energy efficiency financing,” says Dr. Steve Fawkes, global energy efficiency expert and senior advisor to the Investor Confidence Project.

Fawkes will participate in the Investor Panel on key criteria for energy efficiency projects and market expansion, along with Jessica Stromback, Chairman at Joule Assets, Davide Cannarozzi, Managing Partner at GNE Finance and Karen Wendt, Responsible Investment Banking. Attendees will have the opportunity to test the SEAF IT Platform developed by Joule Assets to connect contractors to financing, and brainstorm on its development during breakout sessions.

Karen Wendt, author, investment banker, and co-initiator of the Equator Principles says, “Energy efficiency and green finance are the answer to the social problems of the 21st century. Furthermore, the Vienna Forum on Energy Efficiency Finance will help to create the assets investors are so desperately seeking.”

There is no fee for this event but space is limited – REGISTER for the Vienna International Energy Efficiency Finance Forum.