Joule Assets, Inc., based in Bedford, New York, provides financing, software tools, market analysis and guidance for the energy efficiency market. Its private equity investment fund –the Joule Energy Reduction Asset (ERA) Fund – is a financing source for contractors, technology integrators, technology providersand vendors who provide behind-the-meter reductions in energy consumption. Joule Assets’ expertise and tools in this area allow its clients to access and optimize the value derived from energy reduction measures such as demand response, energy efficiency, and energy storage.
Joule Assets’ services are particularly valuable to energy reduction projects originating from small to medium enterprises whose potential clients have limited access to short-term capital. By providing project capital directly to the developer or contractor, the end-customer is given the opportunity to finance their projects with no upfront funds thereby accelerating the process by which such projects are approved and initiated. Under this sort of financing, the customer makes regular payments on the basis on the savings they achieve with the energy reduction measures – either on an assumed or measured basis. The mechanics are much like the power purchase agreements that are widely used by renewable energy installers. Joule Assets then shares in this revenue stream.
Joule Asset does much more than provide funding for projects in the energy reduction arena. Its expertise allows clients to identify opportunities and markets for their products and services and to obtain additional value from proposed projects. Small companies in the space are often unaware of permanent demand reductions available in their localities or don’t know how to register these reductions or assess their value. This is also true for other energy reduction assets such as capacity demand response, spinning reserve demand response, hourly demand response, or even rebates. Working with its clients, Joule Assets makes sure that projects derive value from all possible sources. By providing substantial added value to its clients’ projects, Joule Assets in turn provides additional returns to its own investors.By monetizing the energy savings realized through its clients energy efficiency and demand response work, Joule Assets expects investors in its ERA Fund will realize returns of 6 to 10 percent.
Joule Assets also acts as a policy activist, engaging with regulators to influence positive legislation and, in some cases, helping to craft legislation that is beneficial to the expansion of energy reduction assets. For example, Joule Assets was instrumental in the development of New York Assembly Bill A7896C related to municipal energy aggregation programs. This legislation opened the way for community choice aggregation that allows municipalities to become their own utilities. These activities on the part of Joule Assets are helping to create market structures that lead to better opportunities for private capital in the energy reduction industry.
An important tool that Joule Assets provides its clients is the Energy Reduction Asset (ERA) platform, which is a searchable database tool for firms to easily engage in energy reduction programs through the local utility/independent systems operator for cost benefits. The ERA platform includes meter and benchmarked data for those needing guidance in fine tuning a facility’s curtailment capability as well as a critical peak pricing(CPP) tariff calculator that will help users understand whether CPP is right for them.
Joule Assets’ current pipeline is $65 million in projects. Most of these projects are in the $50,000 to $500,000 range. The company has active leads for a billion dollars worth of additional projects. According to a 2012 Deutsche Bank/Rockefeller Foundation report, the overall investment market opportunity in energy efficiency is on the order of $900 billion, so Joule Assets is pioneering an investment area of enormous potential.
Joule Assets was founded by two principals with extensive experience in the demand response industry. As a result, the company brings far more to the table than a source of financing for its clients. With its extensive experience, its database, and its work on market structure development, Joule Assets is a powerful partner for its clients. Since its efforts are entirely concentrated on energy reduction efforts, the company’s work is simultaneously devoted to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the environmental and economic effects of climate change. For its investors and its clients alike, Joule Assets is a winning proposition.