U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

About the Guide

The Clean Energy Finance Guide for Residential and Commercial Building Improvements, Third Edition, is designed to serve the needs of state, local, and tribal governments that have received federal State Energy Program (SEP) or Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program funds from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

This finance guide focuses specifically on the ways that state and local grantees can use those funds, including funds provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to create financing programs that support energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements. 

Grantees, and technical assistance providers for those grantees, can use this guide for:

  • Background information on different options available to establish financing programs
  • Examples of sample or model program options to pursue
  • Sample template documents such as contracts or requests for proposals 
  • Modeling and spreadsheet resources to project cash flows or other relevant program results 
  • Information on federal requirements as they relate to energy efficiency financing programs. 

The guide addresses the needs of grantees that are developing financing programs for two different types of borrowers looking to make clean energy upgrades in their buildings: single-family, owner-occupied residential borrowers and commercial borrowers. A separate section is under development to assist grantees that are developing public sector energy efficiency financing programs using energy service performance contracting, and another document is underway to address the crucial elements involved in developing and operating an energy efficiency program. 

This finance guide is not meant to be read straight through from cover to cover. Readers will likely decide to focus on a specific section that meets their needs. The guide avoids making specific recommendations, but instead offers a comprehensive set of processes, guidelines, and resources to help grantees design their own financing programs.


The Clean Energy Finance Guide, Third Edition, is the result of a tremendous effort from members of DOE’s  Finance Technical Assistance Team, lending their expertise and skills as writers and reviewers under the direction of Chris Lohmann of the Financial Market Development Team, DOE. The expert team includes, among others:

  • John MacLean and Dan Clarkson, Energy Efficiency Finance Corporation
  • Neil Zobler and Bob Barton, Catalyst Financial Group, Inc.
  • Matthew H. Brown and Heather Braithwaite, Harcourt Brown Energy & Finance
  • Jeanine Hull, Strategic Energy Advisors, Inc.
  • Darin Lowder, Ballard Spahr LLP
  • Mark Zimring, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Ken Hejmanowski and Cisco DeVries, Renewable Funding  
  • Jeff Hughes, University of North Carolina
  • Howard Banker, Energy Programs Consortium

Matthew H. Brown is overall coordinator of the Clean Energy Finance Guide, and editorial/production services were provided by Jane Otto of The Cadmus Group, Inc.

Front Matter

You can download the guide's entire front matterpdf. It includes the above introduction and acknowledgments, as well as an executive summary, table of contents (for the print version only), frequently used abbreviations, and a glossary of terms.