Tag: bonds

Taxes and Environmental Finance


In the span of a week, Americans witnessed two important days – Tax Day on April 15th, and Earth Day on April 22nd. While we saw many celebrations on Earth Day, on the infamous day that tax forms are due, moods were likely less cheerful as individuals throughout the country struggled to understand and complete a myriad of tax forms. However, perhaps the close proximity of these two important days is appropriate: taxes do play a crucial role in many environmental finance systems. For that reason, at this time of year I often try to relieve my form-fatigue with some reflection on the role taxes play in paying for environmental programs.

Continue reading

QECBs: A Cheaper Way for Local Governments to Fund Energy Efficiency (and Renewable) Projects

Michael Chasnow is a Finance Analyst with the Environmental Finance Center.

Qualified energy conservation bonds (QECBs) are an exciting tool that states, counties and cities can use to cheaply finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects within their jurisdictions. QECBs are similar to Build America Bonds (“BABs”) in that the interest on QECBs is taxable but the federal government offers a direct cash subsidy to the bond issuer to subsidize the interest costs. The subsidy on QECBs is twice as large as the BAB subsidy at about 4% (4.29% as of Aug. 21, 2012), making QECBs an extremely low-cost financing option for state and local government issuers. For more on the QECB essentials, check out DSIRE’s detailed description.

Continue reading