Few investments are as overwhelmingly beneficial as energy projects: they reduce operating expenses, improve budget forecasting, build confidence among socially responsible investors, and strengthen brands. In addition to internal financing opportunities (documented in this companion Internal Financing Guide), there are many innovative external financing solutions and strategies to accomplish sustainability goals when internal capital proves too difficult to acquire.

To help get projects off the ground and generating savings, IMT and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), with support from the U.S. Department of Energy, have created a guide to external financing for retailers (click the tab on the right to download the free guide).

IMT and RILA’s external financing guide was updated in August, 2017 and details strategies for energy projects of all sizes. An external financing mechanism exists for nearly any company’s project and risk preferences. Facilities, operations, or sustainability managers who have never utilized external financing should explore the viability of the presented mechanisms to fund future energy projects. The guide was informed by existing research, case studies, and interviews with retail energy managers. It includes:

Major Intiatives or Construction

  • Green Bonds

Energy Efficiency Financing

  • Energy Service Agreements
  • Energy Performance Contracts
  • Specialized Financing
  • Property Assessed Clean Energy
  • On-Bill Financing
  • Tax Increment Financing


  • Summary of Financing Options

Looking for information about financing energy projects with internal capital? Read our companion Internal Financing Guide, also updated in August, 2017.

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