For some time, we’ve wanted to push the envelope on financing models, and this year, we made it happen. Many homeowners know they could make their homes more energy efficient, but simply can’t afford the up-front costs. They’ve long needed an alternative to traditional sales models, and direct financing is an excellent solution.
We established the $300M Community Efficiency Financing (CEF) initiative to support municipalities that want to create financing programs to help property owners switch to energy-efficient solutions faster. Through two types of financing models (third-party lending and Property Assessed Clean Energy [PACE] or Local Improvement Charge [LIC] financing), CEF will provide the bridge many homeowners need in order to make more sustainable choices.
CEF provides end-to-end funding to get municipal financing programs under way. It offers grants to test market potential, program design and evaluation, as well as loans for municipal-led capital projects. Funded projects will target energy efficiency improvements (e.g., insulation, heating and cooling systems, windows and doors) and renewable energy options (e.g., solar rooftop systems), in low-rise residential buildings.
As with our new SAH initiative, capacity building is a priority for this initiative. Our team plans to create a peer learning network of early adopters and provide access to technical experts to make sure programs launch successfully. It’s critical that they achieve the expected uptake and results so other municipalities across the country will see the value in scaling these innovative programs.
The program’s multi-phase rollout got underway in the spring of 2020.