On-Bill Repayment Makes Energy Efficiency Projects Viable
The Environmental Defense Fund is championing on-bill repayment of energy efficiency upgrades. While it doesn’t seem like there’s a direct connection between the EDF and on-bill payments, Kate Zerrenner, an energy efficiency specialist with the EDF says, “It is something we have taken ownership of. We’re working on on-bill repayment in several states – Texas, Calif., Ohio, NC. It is a tool to enable more efficiency and demand-side resources to be accessed by people and will create a market for energy efficiency/renewables/demand-side resources that is attractive for investors.”
On-bill repayment offers an opportunity for building owners to finance energy efficiency upgrades or renewable electricity generation projects through loans from third-party investors, according to a blog posting by Zerrenner. The investors work with the customer’s utility to include the loan payments on the customer’s utility bill.
Several utilities nationwide use on-bill finance programs to help customers pay for energy efficiency upgrades. But the twist here is that the money comes from third parties, such as banks, to create a new market. According to EDF, the benefits of third-party on-bill repayment include:
- Flexibility for the building owner to design customized solutions;
- Job growth from more energy efficiency projects;
- Potential billions in new private sector investments;
- Savings to ratepayers and states from the avoidance of costly new power plants; and
- Flexibility for contractors and vendors.
The EDF wants Texas to follow in California’s lead where a new on-bill repayment feature will allow commercial property owners to pay for energy upgrades through regular installments on their utility bill.
Why bring buildings online? What information can operations teams glean from real-time data that they can’t just get from the monthly data provided by utility companies? Click to learn more.
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