Fast, Efficient, Low-Cost Energy Efficiency Loans: A Revolution?

April 18, 2014
A new public-private partnership that provides 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. Is this the revolution the industry needs?

Cisco Devries, founder and CEO of Renewable Funding

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

About the Author

Lisa Cohn | Contributing Editor

I focus on the West Coast and Midwest. Email me at [email protected]

I’ve been writing about energy for more than 20 years, and my stories have appeared in EnergyBiz, SNL Financial, Mother Earth News, Natural Home Magazine, Horizon Air Magazine, Oregon Business, Open Spaces, the Portland Tribune, The Oregonian, Renewable Energy World, Windpower Monthly and other publications. I’m also a former stringer for the Platts/McGraw-Hill energy publications. I began my career covering energy and environment for The Cape Cod Times, where Elisa Wood also was a reporter. I’ve received numerous writing awards from national, regional and local organizations, including Pacific Northwest Writers Association, Willamette Writers, Associated Oregon Industries, and the Voice of Youth Advocates. I first became interested in energy as a student at Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, where I helped design and build a solar house.

Twitter: @LisaECohn

Linkedin: LisaEllenCohn

Facebook: Energy Efficiency Markets

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