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

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This summary of additional resources on financing—including papers, reports, and presentations—provides more information for those interested in clean energy lending programs.

You can download the guide’s Summary of Additional Resources on Financingpdf. It features a little more information on some of these resources and includes resources that aren’t available online.

Financing Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiencypdf

This paper discusses a property financing option that 16 states use for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The author describes how those states allow local governments to finance loan programs through bond issuance and the creation of special improvement districts. The author also discusses eligibility for loans and how the loans are repaid. A detailed description of how pay back works for energy efficiency projects and a short description of a Portland, Oregon, energy efficiency program are also included.

Five Emerging U.S. Public Finance Models: Powering Clean-Tech Economic Growth and Job Creationpdf

This report examines five U.S. models used for financing clean energy technology. These are the Clean Energy Development Administration (aka Green Bank), Clean Energy Victory Bonds, Tax Credit Bonds, Federal Loan Guarantees, and Clean Tech City Funds. The report looks at past and current uses of each of these funding models and assesses the economic and job growth potential for each.

Revolving Loan Funds and the State Energy Programpdf

This paper provides general information to states intending to set up a new Revolving Loan Fund for their State Energy Programs (SEP). Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), funding up to a total of $3.1 billion is available for SEPs. Among others, ARRA legislation encourages the creation of long-term funding mechanisms, such as revolving loan funds, to extend the impact of the ARRA funds. By creating a revolving loan fund, states are not subject to expiration of the funds after the current 3-year ARRA timeframe.

Distributed Renewable Energy Finance and Policy Kitpdf

This report describes the many financing options available to state energy offices, municipal governments, and other energy agencies for using public funds for clean energy project support. The report analyzes the options’ strengths and weaknesses and identifies best practices. One key finding is that, while each tool has its own strengths and weaknesses, the use of these tools as a portfolio of approaches creates the most robust, effective programs.

Recent Innovations in Financing for Clean Energypdf

This report reviews and provides profiles of innovative energy efficiency financing programs, many of which can serve as models for broader replication. It covers financing programs offered by utilities, private lenders, local and state governments including private sector loans with public capital, on-bill utility loans, property and local government fee-based financing, and home mortgage-based financing.

Berkeley Financing Initiative for Renewable and Solar Technologypdf

This fact sheet explains how residential and commercial property owners in Berkeley can finance new solar photovoltaic systems using the BerkeleyFIRST program. Property owners will repay the cost of the solar system through a voluntary tax increment on their property tax bill. Once a homeowner is approved, the city pays for the installation cost of the new solar system. In turn, the city adds a special line item to your property tax bill that is sufficient to repay the cost of the energy project plus interest over 20 years. On sale of the house, both the solar system and the remaining debt stay with the property.

Enabling Investments in Energy Efficiency: A Study of Energy Efficiency Programs that Reduce FirstCost Barriers in the Residential Sectorpdf

This paper focuses on the first-cost barriers to increased energy efficiency in residential buildings (homes). It shows that loans and other financing options will be important to enable the efficiency improvements necessary to meet many of the goals of the California Public Utilities Commission’s Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan. The paper reviews existing, terminated, and proposed financing programs and reveals several limitations of these programs including: limited applicability of the programs to households most in need, low participation rates, difficulty assuring that savings will exceed payments, limited support for comprehensive energy retrofits, the inability of many programs to cover their costs, and issues particular to on-bill financing (OBF) programs. The author concludes with recommendations for improving the impact of financing programs in California.

Energy Efficiency Paying The Way: New Financing Strategies Remove First-Cost Hurdlespdf

This report provides policy-makers, regulators, and private sector firms engaged in the design and implementation of energy efficiency (EE) programs with a series of innovative financing options that can be used to achieve comprehensive energy savings across a broad spectrum of residential, commercial, and industrial market segments. This includes options to augment existing efficiency initiatives at the utility, state, and federal levels by offering energy end-users a set of specific financing solutions that are customized for EE. Further, the detailed description of how efficiency projects are developed in each financing option can provide property owners and decision-makers at commercial and industrial facilities with a blueprint to implement EE retrofit projects.

Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Financing Districts for Local Governmentspdf

This report discusses Energy Financing Districts (EFDs), also known as Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), Sustainable Energy Financing, Clean Energy Assessment Districts (CEAD), Contractual Assessments, or Special Tax Districts. These were first proposed by the City of Berkeley, California in 2007, and have received increasing attention as a mechanism for financing residential or commercial clean energy projects, including energy efficiency, solar photovoltaic, or solar thermal systems. EFDs represent one specific, powerful example of an intellectual innovation that is broadly applicable to fostering a profitable transition to a clean energy economy at the local, regional, national, and global levels.

Financing Public Sector Projects with Clean Renewable Energy Bondspdf

Clean renewable energy bonds (CREBs) present a low-cost opportunity for public entities to issue bonds to finance renewable energy projects. The federal government lowers the cost of debt by providing a tax credit to the bondholder in lieu of interest payments from the issuer. Because CREBs are theoretically interest free, they may be more attractive than traditional tax-exempt municipal bonds. In February 2009, Congress appropriated a total of $2.4 billion for the “New CREBs” program. No more than one-third of the budget may be allocated to each of the eligible entities: governmental bodies, electric cooperatives, and public power providers. Applications for this round of “New CREBs” were due to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on August 4, 2009. There is no indication Congress will extend the CREBs program; thus, only projects that are approved under the 2009 round will be able to issue CREBs. This factsheet explains the CREBs mechanism and provides guidance on procedures related to issuing them.

Mainstreaming Environmental Finance Markets – Small Scale Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Financepdf

Report by John MacLean for the KfW Bankengruppe, November 2008.

Structuring Loan Loss Reserve Funds for Clean Energy Programspdf

Presentation by John MacLean for the U.S Department of Energy Structuring Credit Enhancements for Clean Energy Programs Webinar, January 15, 2010.

State Energy Efficiency Loan Programspdf

Brief by Matthew Brown for Alliance to Save Energy, January 2009.

Paying for Energy Upgrades through Utility Billspdf

Brief by Matthew Brown for Alliance to Save Energy, February 2009.

On-Bill Financing: Helping Small Business Reduce Emissions and Energy Use While Improving Profitabilitypdf

Report by Matthew Brown for the National Small Business Association, September 2009.

Federal Government’s Policy Framework for PACE Financing Programspdf

White House report, October 2009.

PACE: Property Assessed Clean Energy Financings - Capital Markets Financing Issues Paperpdf

Memo by Christopher Moriarty and John Row, Barclays Capital, May 15, 2009.

The Customer’s Guide to Solar Power Purchase Agreementspdf

Publication by the Rahus Institute, October 2008. 

U.S. DOE Finance Program Technical Assistance Presentations

The audio files of these presentations can be downloaded from the DOE Solution Center Webcasts page.

Feed-In Tariff Policy: Design, Implementation and RPS Policy Interactionspdf

Report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, March 2009.