A Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU) operates differently from traditional utility companies in that its mandate is to create a market for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. It does so by issuing bonds to fund these as infrastructure investments. The first SEU was set up in Delaware in 2008, and was adopted by Washington, D.C. in 2010. The model was also endorsed by the Asian Development Bank in a communiqué in June 2011, which recommended that its member countries consider the financing model. “Asia’s growing so fast and is putting new structures in so fast, if you put in poor performing new structures, you are going to have 30 or 50 years of inefficiency,” said John Byrne, a professor of climate policy at the University of Delaware and co-chairman of the SEU. “So this is the right time to create an SEU. That is the reason why ADB promoted this model at the forum.” The $70 million green energy savings bond in Delaware received a AA+ rating from Standard & Poor’s. Citi served as underwriter for the bond transaction.
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