New York state residents are getting some creative help from regulators and public utilities when it comes to financing home energy efficiency improvements.
Under a new program called “on-bill” financing, New York homeowners will now be able to finance expensive home energy efficiency improvements and pay back the loans a little each month on their utility bills. The program is part of major energy legislation passed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature. The legislation directs public utilities to bill homeowners for qualifying purchases through their monthly utility bill at an amount equal to the projected energy savings for that month, which means that customers’ utility bills won’t go up as a result of the financing.
In other words, homeowners can pay for energy efficiency upgrades with the amount of money they save using the very improvement that they’re financing.
The on-bill financing program will receive money from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority that will be pooled by a group of banks. Details of the program will be worked out through the state Public Service Commission, which is looking at how the financing would work.
The Center for Working Families estimated that the program, which is already available to small business owners, would allow tens of thousands of homeowners to upgrade their homes while creating 60,000 new jobs from the increased demand for energy efficient equipment, installers and construction workers.
“New Energy Efficiency Upgrade Option Being Offered,” Times Union, Aug. 30, 2011.