New Business Models for Energy Efficiency

Author: Bob Hinkle and Steven Schiller

Cost-effective energy conservation remains a priority in California and beyond. However, the low-hanging fruit of energy efficiency appears to be harder to pluck than originally thought. Regulations and business relationships have worked—but not to the extent they could. Why not? What new business models will need to be in place to spur further energy efficiency improvements into the market? If we are to meet the goals established in the California Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32), what big and bold new steps need to be taken? This paper suggests a range of innovative financial products, business arrangements and supporting public policies that could be implemented to achieve improved and accelerated energy efficiency adoption beyond existing successful efforts.


New Business Models for Energy Efficiency - CalCEF

The workshop was hosted by Sempra Energy at its San Diego, Calif., headquarters and organized by CalCEF and the Energy Efficiency Center at University of California, Davis. The summit assembled 100 leaders from cities, counties, investor-owned (IOU) and public utilities, regulators, corporate leaders and entrepreneurs to address new business approaches for accelerating California’s emissions-reductions efforts and invigorating the economy. Panelists and participants offered business and policy solutions in the realms of product development, project funding and contract negotiation.

Resulting Action

New Business Models for Energy Efficiency - CalCEF

  • Metrus Energy: provided incubation and ongoing support for this innovative EE financing company
  • California Energy Efficiency Initiative (CEEI): promoting energy efficiency on parity with solar photovoltaic (PV) implementation for resource planning purposes, integrating regulatory policies, IOU incentive programs and worker training