This guide will help companies be better prepared as they seek to secure attractive external financing for energy efficiency improvements at their facilities in China. The guide can be used by industry, energy services companies, and financiers to achieve a smoother financing process and prompt more energy efficiency upgrades to be implemented. Download the English version | Chinese version.

Executive Summary

The purpose of this guide (Guide) is to help industrial companies (Hosts) finance energy efficiency projects (EEPs) at their facilities as defined in Annex C of this document. The Guide is designed to help Hosts know what information is required of them by financing entities (Financiers) to streamline the evaluation and financing process. This Guide can also help financial institutions, energy services companies (ESCOs), vendors, and other project developers better understand the information required to finance EEPs. The Guide draws from the authors’ experiences and insights gained through extensive work with Hosts, Financiers, ESCOs, prestigious universities such as Shanghai Jiaotong University (SJTU), and other stakeholders in the financing of EEPs. It was developed in partnership with Chinese and global Financiers and energy efficiency experts.

Findings indicate that Hosts can accelerate and enhance the financing process and likelihood of success in three ways:

  1. Communicating with Financiers as early as possible to understand their informational or structural needs, their financing decision-making criteria and processes, as well as any special services that the Financiers provide (i.e., technical assistance in designing EEPs).

  2. Performing a “self-screening” assessment of any proposed EEPs that many Financiers would evaluate, such as type of Host or technology, size of project, and so on.

  3. Providing as much detailed and accurate information as possible at the beginning of the financing process since plentiful data will increase credibility with Financiers.

Hosts often experience delays and rejection of EEP financing because Financiers were not provided critical Host and project data in a timely and accurate manner. This has prevented Financiers from receiving a compelling picture of the benefits and (limited) risks of a promising EEP. Being prepared to present the correct data to Financiers results in a smoother financing process and a much higher probability of success.

This Guide is designed to:

  • familiarize Hosts with the type of data most Financiers use to evaluate EEPs, as set forth in Annex A: EEP Assessment Indicators, and explain why the data are important;

  • explain the general indicators used by Financiers to evaluate Host and project attractiveness and why these indicators are used;

  • explain what information is important during the different stages of the financing process;

  • help a Host conduct its own assessment of its EEP prior to submitting an application to prospective Financiers, to help improve the quality of the financing application and likelihood of success;

  • highlight common mistakes Hosts make when seeking energy efficiency financing, and illustrate the impact different financing mechanisms have on a Financier’s evaluation and requirements of the Host and the EEP.

By using this Guide to become more familiar with the financing process for EEPs, Hosts can improve their success rate in securing attractive external financing to increase their facilities’ energy efficiency.