From Venture Capital to Crowdfunding, Efficiency Investment Opportunities Abound

Energy efficiency innovation and funding is now coming from a variety of places.

As a follow up to our blog post on the Clean Energy Investment Initiative, we’re taking a closer look at some other new and innovative energy efficiency funding sources.

With more people in the United States becoming aware of the benefits of energy efficiency technology, it’s no surprise that funding sources are becoming as diverse as the technology itself.

Public vs. Private Funding

A significant amount of funding for energy efficiency research has historically come from the federal government. Programs such as the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) have helped cities, communities and states across the country create and manage energy efficiency and conservation projects.

As emerging energy technologies, including efficiency technologies, have proven to be a safer and more reliable investment, new funding sources have arisen from the private sector to meet the financial needs of today’s energy innovators.

Private Funding Sources

Living in the age of the Digital Revolution, it is no surprise that one of the newest funding sources for innovative technology owes its success to the connected nature of the internet.

Major online crowdfunding platforms such as Fundly, KickStarter and GoFundMe have all been successfully utilized by organizations trying to break in to the energy marketplace. And as the need for new efficiency technology has grown, crowdfunding platforms catering to specific causes have also arisen. Now, even small-scale projects can access funding from platforms such as GreenFunder and Causes to bring their own energy efficient ideas to life.

For many, funding new technology is about more than just profitability. Philanthropic organizations such as the PRIME Coalition are now connecting charity dollars to emerging energy technology, including energy efficiency, acknowledging the resultant environmental and societal benefits.

This does not mean however, that traditional private funding sources are not committed to investing. Organizations such as the Clean Energy Venture Group and Wells Fargo’s Innovation Incubator provide venture capital investment to growing organizations in energy, environment and sustainability fields. Venture capital groups are able to bring not only necessary seed capital to innovative technology, but the management expertise to integrate these ideas in to the marketplace.

The Future of Investment

Now more than ever we are seeing private organizations and all levels of government acknowledging the importance of developing energy efficiency.

As evidenced by case studies from the American Energy Innovation Council, public-private partnerships are essential to the innovation and implementation of energy technology. As we recently highlighted on the Alliance’s Blog to Save Energy, the Obama Administration’s Clean Energy Investment Initiative announced it had doubled the initial goal of attracting $2 billion in private investment commitments for climate change solutions. With a combination of public and private investment, efficiency leaders can continue to innovate to meet our world’s growing energy demands.