WASHINGTON, DC – Along with lead author Congressman Chris Van Hollen (MD-8) and other House Democrats, Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) introduced legislation today to establish a Federal Green Bank, modeled after Connecticut’s Green Bank, to help finance the development of clean energy and energy efficiency projects. The Green Bank Act of 2014 will increase deployment of clean energy and energy efficiency technologies by providing financing in partnership with private investors for projects that use commercialized technology but cannot deploy at scale due to lack of reasonably priced financing.
“The cheapest and cleanest energy is the energy we don’t use at all. We have seen remarkable gains in the renewable and energy efficiency marketplace over the last several years, and it is important that the federal government provides incentives to allow the marketplace to continue to develop and thrive,” said Himes. “Connecticut’s Green Bank’s success in financing the development of clean energy and energy efficiency projects is a testament to the positive impact public-private partnerships can have, and I am excited to help lead the effort to establish a similar institution at the national level.”
The Federal Green Bank will provide loans, loan guarantees, debt securitization, insurance, and other forms of financing support or risk management for qualified clean energy and energy efficiency projects. The Green Bank will use public dollars to draw in private investors, making it easier for new projects to acquire private capital by eliminating the upfront cost of investment. And by lowering the price of clean energy for consumers, the Green Bank will help the U.S. achieve the level of clean energy investment needed to make the U.S. more energy independent and abate climate change.
Connecticut’s Green Bank, the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA), was established in 2011 to leverage public and private funds to drive investment and scale-up clean energy deployment in Connecticut. The first state “Green Bank” in the nation, CEFIA has served as a model for other states’ Green Banks and was the inspiration for the Green Bank Act. Since its creation, CEFIA has leveraged enough funds to produce 1,800,000 Megawatt hours of clean energy and reduce Connecticut’s carbon footprint by 250,000 tons. Last year alone, investments made by CEFIA resulted in 1,200 jobs created and energy savings equivalent to taking 2,500 cars off the road.