Technical Assistance for Clean Energy Financing


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The UNC Environmental Center (EFC) has provided energy financing and market assessment technical assistance to 30+ states, cities, financial institutions and non-profits. Through this assistance, the EFC has helped governments and other organizations maximize the leverage, job creation and energy efficiency/renewable energy (EERE) impacts of new energy financing projects, including residential and commercial EERE lending programs. Technical assistance has been provided in many areas, including

  - Loan loss reserve development

  - Revolving loan fund development and modeling

  - Use of qualified energy conservation bonds (QECBs)

  - Structuring power purchase agreements (PPAs) and rebate program

  - Market assessments of EERE financing programs

Much of this work was executed through a U.S. Department of Energy funded effort to provide financial mechanism support for clean energy to state and local recipients of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funding. Highlights of technical assistance provided through this program include:


Green Sun Hawaii logoHelping create GreenSun Hawaii's loan loss reserve program

The EFC provided the Hawaii State Energy Office with support designing GreenSun, a state-wide residential loan program. Following design support, the EFC has provided on-going financial modeling, research and implementation support to the Hawaii Community Reinvestment. The GreenSun program launched in Oct. 2011, and through Oct. 2012, GreenSun has completed 47 loans for residential EERE projects across all four major Hawaiian Islands. Over $1.15 million in private lender capital has been been deployed through loans and homeowners will save 311,466 kilowatt hours of energy per year, with estimated annual utility cost savings of $128,184 per year, and the program continues to run and grow its impact.


LEAP logoDeveloping Charlottesville, VA's loan loss reserve and rebate programs

As of Oct. 2012, Charlottesville's LEAP program has led to retrofits of 750+ homes in the metropolitan area leveraging over $5M in private investment. This effort helps homeowners aggregately save $460K per year, and 7 GWh of total energy. The EFC provided assistance to LEAP in evaluating alternative financing options. After helping design the financing model, EFC also provided ongoing research support and implementation assistance, including the development of an energy calculator for residential homeowners and helping execute LEAP's revolving loan fund.


JEA logoJacksonville's (FL) loan loss reserve program 

As of Fall 2012, through a Better Buildings Partnership formed in 2011, Jax Metro Credit Union has lent over $1.4 million for Home Performance energy efficiency and renewable projects. The average loan has been $8,510 and Jax Metro Credit Union has attracted 170+ new credit union members through their suite of energy efficiency and renewable lending offerings. The EFC helped structure the loan loss reserve for the program, including the excel tool for gauging plausibility of additional loans, and has provided ongoing financial analysis and support.


James City County logoJames City County (VA) revolving loan fund development

As of Nov. 2012, James City County had provided seven residential loans and two-large scale business loans through its EERE revolving loan fund (RLF). For instance, a large retirement community used a loan of more than $100K to install LED lighting, and is repaying the loan through its monthly energy savings from LED lighting. The RLF is in strong financial position, and the County plans to use the fund to continue serving low-and-moderate income households looking to reduce energy costs in their homes for years to come. The EFC helped James City County design the revolving loan fund, and James City County uses an EFC-developed excel tool to monitor the financial strength of the RLF and gauge readiness to provide additional loans to community households and organizations.


Map of Provided Energy Finance Assistance 

Below are the 30+ locations throughout the United States that the EFC has worked with over the past several years:

View larger map.