On 27th of September, representatives of local authorities, ESCOs, non-government organisations and policy makers gathered in Nantes to discuss the potential of innovative financing models for building renovations in France.
French local authorities face strong budget constraints and reduction of national financial support. That has an impact on their ability to invest and carry out projects tackling climate issues, however the innovative approaches to financing energy efficiency have been already developed and tested in several regions.
The panellists agreed that the role of the public sector in developing investments in renovations of buildings is crucial. That kind of projects would not be possible to realize on a purely private market. However, the experts stressed that interesting and well prepared projects will always find investors to support them. Thus, strong political leadership and cooperation with private sector are indispensable. ‘We need to work with local authorities to get the bankability mentality’, Elise Steyaert, the coordinator of CITYnvest said.
Yet, involving financing institutions and ESCOs to invest in energy efficiency projects is not the only possible way to make the renovations happen. The participants of the event were more than eager to learn more about cooperatives and to explore citizen-funding solutions.