GBCI administers the Investor Confidence Project (ICP), and its Investor Ready Energy Efficiency Certification (IREE). ICP is a global underwriting standard for developing and measuring energy efficiency retrofits for commercial and multifamily residential buildings. Through its IREE certification, ICP aims to standardize energy efficiency upgrades.
“IREE certification was introduced to us as an alternative pathway to access PG&E’s zero percent on-bill financing (OBF) program,” says Corey Brophy, Director of Programs and Processing at EcoGreen Solutions. “So that’s what I initially saw the certification as, an alternative requirement, and additional compliance cost. I couldn’t have been more wrong.”
Corey elaborated on the IREE incorporation process for their company and the differences they've seen as a result:
EcoGreen Solutions is an energy services firm that has helped thousands of organizations cut costs through energy-efficiency improvements since its founding in 2007. When the firm began following the IREE protocols for PG&E’s OBF program, they quickly realized that using the protocols as a standardized process for developing all projects would allow their team to reach many more customers.
“IREE provides a recipe that standardizes the entire project development process. So, we jumped at the opportunity to engrain this standardization into our business model,” explains Corey.
Embracing IREE protocols fully enabled EcoGreen Solutions to break the development process into a precise series of ten to fifteen-minute tasks. “What took thirty to forty hours of a professional engineer's time now takes nine hours,” continues Corey. You can imagine the impact that has on profitability.”
Not only did the embrace of IREE substantially reduce project costs, but the time savings also allowed EcoGreen Solutions to more than double the number of energy-efficiency projects they complete each year.
EcoGreen project highlights a side-by-side LED and Metal Halide comparison, which creates 15% more light on the ground.
The benefits of IREE go beyond improved efficiency and output. With standardization comes consistency and quality. Each IREE project is vetted through a rigorous quality assessment and third-party certification process. This gives project financers confidence in energy savings projections.
“The embrace of IREE has given us a competitive advantage when it comes to bidding projects. As a result, we’ve seen a huge uptick in the number of projects we are winning in the public sector,” shares Corey. “It’s hard to compete [with EcoGreen] when we are delivering projects that come with [the additional credibility of a] third-party certification.”