US Green Deal-style financing could help yield $1tr in energy savings

Deutsche Bank and Rockefeller Foundation urge Obama administration to support new financing models to boost energy efficiency

The US government has been urged to support new types of financing models that encourage households  and businesses to invest in energy efficiency measures, after a new report suggested building retrofits could yield $1tr in energy savings and create millions of jobs.

Deutsche Bank Climate Change Advisors and The Rockefeller Foundation launched the report late last week, examining the potential investment opportunity of upgrading US real estate, as well as new financing models that could help drive investment.

It concluded $279bn could be invested in retrofitting domestic and commercial buildings, which could yield more than $1tr of energy savings over the next decade. It added that if all these retrofits were undertaken more than 3.3 million job years could be created.

A national retrofit programme could also cut US emissions by nearly 10 per cent, the report said, citing evidence that buildings are currently responsible for 40 per cent of global carbon emissions.
Judith Rodin, president of The Rockefeller Foundation, said she hoped the findings would help businesses realise the benefits associated with energy efficiency measures.

"Proven technologies to retrofit buildings can both conserve energy and – even more importantly in these difficult economic times – have the potential to create a large number of jobs," she said.

"With the release of this new report, outlining both the investment and job opportunities, I am increasingly hopeful that this market can achieve its full potential."