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

Residential Clean Energy Finance Program Staffing

Any clean energy financing program will need a number of internal champions in each of the organizations involved in designing and putting it in place.

Roles and Responsibilities 

The roles and responsibilities listed below may be split among several different partners who are involved in energy efficiency  and renewable energy programs. Internal staffing requirements for the government entities operating such a program can be minimal as long as the program has sufficient partners in other organizations.  

  • Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy Program Lead and Program Designers – Lead the overall effort at the local level. Every energy efficiency and renewable energy program needs a person or group of persons who are willing and able to spearhead and organize the various components of the program. In many instances, the lead role is filled by staff at a local nonprofit and often overlaps with other roles such as Marketing Lead. In other cases, the program lead within the municipal government spearheads the effort.

  • Program Lead – Champions the energy efficiency/renewable energy program within a grantee or subgrantee municipal government, assists in drafting council resolutions or state legislation, coordinates with Legal Staff, drafts or oversees drafting of the request for proposal (RFP) for selecting a financial institution partner, negotiates with the financial institution, and coordinates execution of contracts with the financial institution and among other program partners.

  • Legal Staff – Ensure all local actions and elements of the program comport with municipal, state, and federal laws.

  • Marketing Lead – Ensures that the community is aware of the energy efficiency/renewable energy program and its potential benefits and coordinates with the chosen financial institution, which will also market the program to its existing customers. Marketing efforts are intended to generate a steady flow of investment-ready projects.

  • Utility Liaison – Ensures full use of existing utility rebate programs and promotes further development of utility involvement.

  • Contractor Coordinator – Ensures that a pool of qualified energy efficiency/renewable energy contractors exists and that the contractors are aware of the program and prepared to take on the work. In some cases, existing community action agencies can help in this role. See Developing and Managing the Vendor/Contractor Network.

  • Finance Lead – Designs finance options for the program, drafts the loan loss reserve fund (LRF) agreement, serves as a financial resource, and testifies before municipal councils or state legislatures when needed. This person helps secure funding for the program, which can include (1) preparing/writing grants and working with state and federal officials; (2) helping in the drafting of the RFP to select financial institution(s) and during the financial institution selection process; and (3) assisting (if experienced) in drafting the LRF and overall program agreements that delineate roles and responsibilities.