Council Gives Utility Bill Financing Preliminary Approval

The City Council passed an ordinance on first reading which will enable Utilities to provide financing and on-bill servicing of loans for energy efficiency, water efficiency and renewable energy projects. The project will create a pilot program this year for residential customers participating in the Home Efficiency Program, the Solar Rebate Program, and for customers who need to repair or replace a water supply line.

Staff says the primary goal of the on-bill financing pilot is to facilitate more efficiency upgrades in the residential sector. The upgrades are intended to “reduce the City’s need for future energy resources, reduce our environmental footprint and promote local economic health by investing in our built environment.”

Council approved a budget exception in fall 2011 for the 2012 budget to provide $300,000 for the pilot program from the utilities reserve fund. Customers would be able to secure loans from utilities ranging from $1,000 to $15,000 with terms of three to 10 years. Interest on the loans would be the prime interest rate plus 2 percent to 5 percent. Staff anticipates this should enable the funding of between 50 to 75 projects. Council will hold a public hearing and 2nd reading for the ordinance on May 1.

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