It’s been a turbulent week for the UK, but finally some good news: three Liverpool NHS Trusts are pioneering a new certification aimed at opening up the €100 billion annual investment needed for the European retrofit market. As the Right Honourable Lord Barker of Battle, former UK Minister of State for the Department of Energy & Climate Change, says, “The recent Brexit vote has created political and market uncertainty, which risks delaying urgently needed investments to improve our energy performance. Initiatives like the Investor Confidence Project are all the more important now, demonstrating that good things can happen even when politics is under pressure.”
A consortium of three National Health Service (NHS) Trusts in Liverpool is the first in Europe to receive Investor Ready Energy Efficiency™ (IREE) certification, a new label aimed at attracting investment into the burgeoning energy efficiency market. Launched today by Environmental Defense Fund’s Investor Confidence Project (ICP) Europe, this new label for commercial and multifamily residential buildings certifies retrofit projects that follow ICP’s framework, and provides investors with more confidence in financial and environmental results.
“Liverpool has always been a place of trade and innovation, and we at Liverpool Women’s Hospital are proud to honour that heritage. By pioneering ICP’s new investor-ready certification in Europe, we are showing that that we can take climate action that is good for our people and good for business,” said John Foley, Environmental Manager at Liverpool Women’s Hospital.
The £13-million project developed by the Carbon and Energy Fund, with financing from Macquarie Group, will improve the energy and carbon performance of three hospitals: Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust, and The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, resulting in annual savings of £1.85 million, with an average energy saving of 50% and an average carbon saving of 33% annually.
“This is a landmark deal in energy efficiency financing. This new certification promises to unlock the European retrofit market – worth upwards of €100 billion per year”, says David Mackey at the Carbon and Energy Fund (CEF), who developed the project. “We have £100 million worth of projects in the pipeline that will be certified – a clear signal to the market we are open for business.”
Project investors Macquarie Group stated, “Macquarie is pleased to support the NHS energy efficiency upgrade project in Liverpool. We look forward to financing future energy efficiency projects as the UK transitions to a clean, low-carbon economy.”
The energy efficiency market already employs more than around 136,000 people in the UK, is worth more than £18 billion annually, and delivers exports valued at nearly £1.9 billion per year.
“The Liverpool Energy Collaboration scheme demonstrates a strong partnership approach for delivering low carbon investment plans by the NHS. Working with the Investor Confidence Project, the Carbon and Energy Fund and Macquarie Bank, these three trusts have come together to deliver innovative energy efficiency solutions that will reduce the operational revenue costs of each trust, alongside delivering environmental benefits in a cost effective way,” said Peter Sellars, NHS Estates Head of Profession.
As it expands, ICP’s Investor Ready Energy Efficiency™ certification could point the way toward mass-scale financing of energy efficiency in the building sector – where €100 billion per year is needed to reach the EU’s 2020 energy efficiency target. By providing at-a-glance branding for building retrofit projects, this new certification has the potential to help unlock tens of billions of dollars in energy efficiency investments. By working collaboratively with other innovative government, utility and private sector programs, like property-assessed clean energy financing and “pay-for-performance,” ICP will help ensure that energy efficiency delivers on its promise.
ICP Europe’s Ally Network of about 150 market leaders includes the Building Owners’ & Managers Association, Siemens, ARUP, E.On, World Green Building Council, and the Building Performance Institute Europe. The recently launched Investor Network has brought together investors with €1 billion in assets under management looking for energy efficiency opportunities. ICP recently received the prestigious Finance for Resilience (FiRe) award presented by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.