Interactive Map of Utilities with On-Bill Financing Programs
Note #1: Energy Resource Conservation (ERC) Loans ↴
The majority of on-bill programs operated by rural electric cooperatives began in the 1980s, supported by the now-defunct Energy Resource Conservation (ERC) loan program at the USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS). Starting in 1980, RUS provided capital at 2 percent interest (through loan deferments) to co-ops running ERC programs. Co-ops could then relend the capital to members at up to 5 percent interest, with the rate markup going to pay for program administrations costs. Many ERC programs are still active, providing on-bill loans to members for a core array of energy efficiency measures: caulking, weather-stripping, water heaters, central heating and/or air conditioning systems, and insulation. Most ERC programs offer loans of up to $5,000 with a five year repayment period, though some offer up to $7,500 with a seven-year repayment.
Note #2: Tennessee Valley Authority EnergyRight Solutions Program ↴
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has operated the EnergyRight Solutions Program since the 1970s, providing energy efficiency programs for TVA-serviced public utilities and rural electric cooperatives in six states. One EnergyRight program provides financing for residential heat pumps, with the loan repaid through a line item on the participant’s monthly electric bill. The program switched from utility capital to local bank funds in 1997; the program has loaned more than $500 million since the switch. In 2017, the heat pump program was merged with the TVA eScore Program.
Note #3: HomePlus Loan Program ↴
A number of Georgia rural electric cooperatives partner with Georgia EMC Federal Credit Union to provide energy efficiency loans to its members. The credit union provides the loan to the co-op member, who then repays it through the monthly utility bill. The co-op then remits the payments back to the credit union. This setup, where the on-bill loans are issued directly to a utility customer by a lender or other third-party, is referred to as “on-bill repayment (OBR).” The interest rate for HomePlus loans up to $7,500 is 7.9 percent; the rate is 6.5 percent for higher amounts (up to $25,000). These rates are one percent lower than a stand-alone loan with the credit union. Repayment periods are between two and seven years, depending on the amount borrowed.
This map shows the 110+ utilities in the United States that operate an on-bill financing program. Click the icons for links to learn more about each program.
|Rural electric cooperative|
On-bill financing (OBF) allows ratepayers to borrow money for energy upgrades to their homes and repay the loans as part of their utility bills. The utilities (or partner organizations) provide the loans, and the upgrades can include energy efficiency retrofits or renewable energy installations.
EESI's On-Bill Financing Project is an ongoing initiative aimed at spreading the OBF model to help families reduce energy use, cut energy bills, and improve home comfort—all with no upfront costs.
Learn more at www.eesi.org/obf.