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Energy Efficiency Financing Programs

The California Energy Commission's Energy Efficiency Financing Program

This program provides financing for schools, hospitals and local governments through low-interest loans for feasibility studies and the installation of energy-saving measures.

from the State of California Energy Commission

Up to $25 million in loan funds are available for installing energy cost saving projects. The interest rate is 3 percent. Loan applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. This notice applies to loans made on or after the date of this notice and ends when a new notice is issued. This interest rate will not be applied retroactively to existing loans.

Who is eligible?

Cities, counties, special districts, public schools, colleges and universities, public care institutions, and public hospitals are eligible to apply. Nonprofit entities are not eligible for these funds.

How much is available and what is the maximum amount per application?

The maximum loan amount is $3 million per application. If organizations already have existing loans from the Energy Commission, they must demonstrate that their existing loan-funded projects are progressing before another loan will be awarded. There is no minimum loan amount.

What projects are eligible?

  • Projects with proven energy and/or capacity savings are eligible. Common projects include energy efficiency upgrades to lighting systems; heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems; light emitting diode traffic signals; energy management systems and equipment controls; cogeneration systems; pumps and motors; and renewable energy projects.

  • Energy audits and feasibility studies may be eligible for loans in some cases. Contact the Energy Commission's Public Programs Office at (916) 654-4104 for information regarding eligibility.

What are the project/loan requirements?

  • Projects must demonstrate technical and economic feasibility.
  • Loans for energy projects must be repaid from energy cost savings within 15 years, including principal and interest (approximate 10 years simple payback). Simple payback is calculated by dividing the dollar amount of the loan by the anticipated annual energy cost savings.
  • Loans awarded for energy audits/studies only must be repaid within two years.
  • The loan term cannot exceed the useful life of loan-funded equipment.
  • Projects may start once the application is on file with the Energy Commission. However, only approved project related costs with invoices dated after loans are officially awarded by the Energy Commission at a Business Meeting are eligible to be reimbursed from loan funds. If your application is rejected for any reason, the Energy Commission is not responsible for reimbursement of any costs.

How can I get an application?

This application is available from the Energy Commission's website at http://www.energy.ca.gov/efficiency/financing/.