Developing a new energy efficiency finance tool

A pan-European project to develop standardised protocols for developing and documenting energy efficiency projects; the Investor Confidence Project Europe (ICP).

Our clients

The Environmental Defense Fund, The European Commission Horizon 2020 programme


In 2014 we identified that one of the barriers to up-scaling energy efficiency was the lack of standardisation in building energy efficiency projects which increased transaction costs and performance risk.

Through our international network we identified the US based Investor Confidence Project as a solution to the problem and set out to introduce it to Europe. We built a coalition and assembled and managed a consortium that over a four year period secured €3.5m of Horizon 2020 funding.  We established a network of more than 1,000 supporters including major project developers and financial institutions, and developed and delivered a functioning pan-European Investor Confidence Project system.

The system is open source and available for use by all developers of building energy efficiency projects. The system has been proven to reduce transaction costs and reduce risks as a major insurer of performance risk accepts ICP certified projects with lower premia and with out the cost of an independent engineering analysis.

Desired outcomes

Delivering a functioning, pan-European system for standardising and certifying the development and documentation of energy efficiency projects. This included: developing protocols based on regulations and legislation within 27 countries; building pan-European networks of users and investors; developing training courses; and working with project developers to certify pilot projects.


The challenge?

The lack of standardisation in the development and documentation of energy efficiency projects inhibits investment into energy efficiency by  increasing transaction costs and performance risks.


How did we help?

We identified the need and negotiated with the US owners of the Investor Confidence Project, built a pan-European coalition of interesting parties and support from the European Commission, (all at our own risk), and then assembled a consortium of partners and wrote a successful proposal that secured €1.9m of Horizon 2020 funding. We then delivered the project, which became one of the EC’s top projects on financing energy efficiency, over three years. We also originated a second successful two year, €1.5m, Horizon 2020 project which expanded the coverage of the ICP into industry and infrastructure projects.


What are the benefits?

A completely standardised pan-European system of developing and documenting energy efficiency projects that has been proven to reduce transaction costs and reduce performance risk. 


HSB does provide improved terms for energy efficiency projects that are ICP credentialed. The Asset Performance Insurance element of our cover (covering a shortfall in achieved savings) incorporates a “confidence factor” within the rating model. The highest confidence level is applicable to ICP credentialed projects. This contracts the performance parameters and reduces the premium. The exact reduction in premium depends on the nature of the project to start with.”

Paul Cullum – Alternative Distribution Manager, HSB Engineering Insurance Limited

Contact us to learn more about tools like the the Investor Confidence Project and how to scale up investment into energy efficiency

Our team

Steve is an author, public speaker, and global pioneer, driven in the pursuit of net zero and a regenerative economy. Steve has had significant impact on the energy transition in the UK and beyond with his work with corporates, investors, public sector bodies and governments. Steve is committed to implementing strong leadership and governance based on equitable and ethical business principles. 

Matt is a public speaker and a lifelong sustainability practitioner in the net zero and circular economy, with experience working in both corporates and SMEs. He built a sustainability and energy services business for a FTSE100 to deliver energy efficiency, renewables, and resource recovery projects for a variety of public and private sector clients. He was involved in putting the Zero Waste concept into practice in New Zealand in the 1990’s and from his first job with Greenpeace, he has maintained a passion for sustainability with a goal of making it mainstream. 

Alex has been an entrepreneur in the clean energy sector for around 15 years. He founded respected energy analytics business EEVS Insight in 2011 and has led a number of consultancy teams, advising corporate and public sector clients on energy strategies and developing innovative business models that make sense of energy efficiency. Alex holds a Masters degree in electrical engineering from Imperial College London and an MBA from Ashridge Business School, and is a Chartered Engineer. Alex has spent his entire career trying to address climate change, which he views as an unprecedented opportunity for creating a better, more equitable world.