Inexpensive home energy efficiency loans could be just the revolution we need to significantly boost energy efficiency and reap benefits for homeowners, utilities and the environment. And a new public-private partnership is paving the way.
The Warehouse for Energy Efficiency Loans will provide fast, efficient, low-cost energy efficiency loans, removing many of the hurdles that prevent us from seeing more energy efficiency realized.
It’s a collaboration between some of the hard hitters in finance and energy, including Citi, the Pennsylvania Treasury Department, Renewable Funding, the Energy Programs Consortium, National Association of State Energy Officials and the U.S. Department of Energy.
The effort, says Cisco Devries, the founder and CEO of Renewable Funding, aims to make financing energy efficiency as simple and low-cost as financing a car.
“Now, when you go to buy a car, you can finance it at low cost at a dealership almost all the time,” he says. “The industry has done that by standardizing, and finding out how the car loan is distinct from other loans.”
He adds, “We’re making it fast, efficient, low-cost and done right at home on the kitchen table.”
All this is possible in part because it’s now clear that people are likely to pay back their home energy loans, he says.
“The last six months has seen a sea change in the market’s ability to understand this,” says Devries. “We at Renewable Funding as well as many in the industry have hypothesized that people who do EE improvements in their homes are more likely to pay them back compared to other types of consumer credits. Because they’re making a long-term investment and saving money, they are more likely to re-pay those loans.”
The loan program is now being launched in Pennsylvania and Kentucky. An initial $100 million will be available through the program, and it’s expected that more than $1 billion will be available over the next couple of years, he says.
Here’s hoping that homeowners will see this program as the catalyst for action. Then perhaps the revolution will begin. Learn more here: www.wheel.renewfund.com