Washington, DC Passes Historic Law Establishing Green Finance Authority

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the Green Finance Authority Establishment Act of 2018 last month, creating a new instrumentality of the District government designed to increase private investment in sustainability and clean energy projects by offering loans, loan guarantees, credit enhancements, bonds, and other financing mechanisms. The Green Finance Authority is anticipated to expand renewable energy and energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and support green jobs.

Entities such as the Green Finance Authority, also known as green banks or energy investment partnerships, have been established at the national, state, and county level across the world. In the United States, the states of Connecticut, New York, California, Rhode Island, and Hawaii, as well as Montgomery County, Maryland, have operational green banks. According to the District’s news release, the passage of the Green Finance Authority Act officially makes Washington, DC “the first city in the United States to establish a green bank.”

The Green Finance Authority will be governed by a Board composed of the Director of the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) as well as representatives of other key agencies, including the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, Executive Director of the Office of Public-Private Partnership, and the Chief Financial Officer. DOEE Director Tommy Wells serves on NASEO’s Board of Directors.