On July 2, 2018, Mayor Bowser signed the District of Columbia Green Finance Authority Establishment Act of 2018, officially making Washington, DC the first city in the United States to establish a green bank.
The goal of the DC Green Bank is to accelerate energy efficiency improvements and the deployment of clean energy technology by leveraging private investment, removing up-front costs, and increasing the efficiency of public dollars. Other green banks in the United States — including those in Connecticut, New York, and Michigan — have shown impressive success in using smaller amounts of public capital to leverage billions of dollars of private sector funding.
Specifically, the DC Green Bank aims to:
- Attract private capital by leveraging public investment;
- Use financial tools to increase capacity, accelerate lending, and recapitalize funds to support the Bank’s mission;
- Become a go-to resource for District residents, small business owners, and commercial developers interested in energy efficiency improvements, clean energy installations, and construction of green infrastructure; and
- Be a breakeven entity, where the revenues earned from financing activity cover its operating costs over the long term.
The DC Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) is facilitating the launch of the DC Green Bank to help achieve the goals of the Clean Energy DC Plan. With the first board of directors meeting held on July 25, 2019, the DC Green Bank is officially in start-up phase, working on administrative setup.
After a nationwide selection process, the DC Green Bank Board of Directors has hired attorney and clean energy expert Eli Hopson as the organization’s first Chief Executive Officer.
Eli officially began as CEO on April 13, 2020. Prior to his hiring as CEO, he served as Vice President of Legal, Regulatory, and Policy at Cube Hydro Partners, and as Vice President of Legal and Chief Compliance Officer at Eagle Creek Renewable Energy after Eagle and Cube merged. Eli’s experience also includes roles at Latham & Watkins LLP, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. He received his bachelor’s degree and Masters of Engineering in environmental engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center
Globally, we are witnessing unpredictable and devastating impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. The future feels tenuous to all of us. Yet, despite the uncertainty, the DC Green Bank is focused on what we can control and how we can support the District during this time.
We proudly support the Mayor’s District Economic Recovery Team (DERT), created to proactively prepare and strategize long-term plans to restart the District’s social and economic spheres as we recover from the impacts of COVID-19. For more information on DERT, please visit the DC Government website here. We are confident that our efforts will prove essential as the District recovers from the pandemic and positions itself to remain a leader in tackling climate change and improving sustainability and resiliency. Our DC Green Bank products will lower barriers to adoption of clean energy technology and make energy projects more accessible and more affordable through financing instruments and incentives. These products enable home projects that reduce costs to residents, enhance energy efficiency and support clean energy companies.
Potential Financial Products
DC Green Bank is considering a variety of financial products to help meet the District’s sustainability goals.
Quick to close, low-interest rate loans for single family home owners. Loans can be used to improve energy efficiency, lower utility costs, install solar, improve resilience.
Commercial or Multi-Family Loan
Reduced-interest loans for multi-family or commercial buildings for energy efficiency improvements, stormwater infrastructure, solar, and more!
Gap Financing for Solar
Short-term pre-development and construction loans for commercial solar and community solar project development.
“Property Assessed Clean Energy” (PACE) is a financing structure that uses the District’s ability to fund improvements in the public interest by attaching special tax assessments to properties.