Toronto Atmospheric Fund

November 01, 2011 12:08 ET

Investing in Energy Efficiency Will Save You Money-Guaranteed

New Insurance Product Backstops Building Efficiency Improvements

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 1, 2011) - Canadian building owners can now undertake retrofits to improve their building's energy efficiency knowing that energy savings are guaranteed, thanks to the introduction of an innovative new "Energy Savings Warranty" insurance product.

The policy, when purchased jointly by engineering and contracting firms that are assisting buildings with energy retrofits, provides a financial backstop for building owners against the possibility that expected savings don't fully materialize, leaving them short of revenue to repay their financing.

Based on its work with high-rise building owners, the Toronto Atmospheric Fund identified a need for such a product and worked with Jones Brown Insurance Brokers and Energi of Canada Ltd to bring this option to Canada. "TAF's goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, which are responsible for more than one-third of the city's emissions. We were confident that buildings can profitably reduce their energy use by increasing efficiency, but building owners still need to be convinced. Insuring the savings provides a rock solid guarantee that allows building owners to proceed worry free and that provides lenders with the solid security they need to finance a retrofit."

"The market for this product is huge -- tens of thousands of buildings across Canada are ripe for reducing their energy use and this product provides the confidence to move forward with an energy efficiency upgrade" says Jen Aitchison, from Jones Brown. "This product has proven quite popular in the United States."

"We expect that availability of this product will increase the interest of banks and others in financing energy efficiency projects" says Stoate. TAF has been leading the way in financing by offering an Energy Savings Purchase Agreement, which makes upgrades cash flow positive from day one. As an innovator of solutions to climate change, TAF hopes its model will be more widely adopted in the broad marketplace.

One condition of the Energy Savings Warranty is ongoing monitoring of a building's energy performance. "This really is another benefit, because it promotes proper maintenance and quick troubleshooting that can save buildings money by keeping systems performing properly," Aitchison explains.

"What this product really proves is that building energy upgrades will pay for themselves and more, guaranteed," says Stoate. "Now there is no excuse for any building owner to not be looking at how they can save money by improving energy efficiency."

As with all insurance products, the Energy Savings Warranty includes standard deductibles and risk-adjusted premiums.

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