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Business Beat

December 19, 2012

State offers energy-efficiency loan program

Small businesses and nonprofits that make energy-efficiency upgrades in their buildings can obtain up to $50,000 in low-interest energy efficiency financing, repayable on their monthly utility bills, under a program announced recently by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

The program, known as On-Bill Recovery Financing, was a signature part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Power NY Act of 2011, NYSERDA said in a press release.

It is designed to help small businesses and nonprofits obtain capital to improve their energy-efficiency and reduce their energy bills. The energy savings is then used to pay for the upgrades.     

Lenders, credit unions and community development institutions statewide are eligible to offer On-Bill Recovery Financing loans.

The interest rate for the financing is 2.5 percent.

Businesses with 100 employees or fewer and nonprofits that own their buildings are eligible for On-Bill Recovery Financing.

Also, those that lease or manage all or part of the building and have a release from the building owner to seek financing through the program are eligible.

Businesses and nonprofits must have accounts with designated utilities, which in central New York include New York State Electric and Gas Corp. and National Grid. Use of the financing is restricted to energy efficiency improvements identified in a qualified energy assessment provided by a NYSERDA program, a utility program or by a qualified energy consultant.

They can include upgrades to lighting systems; system and building controls; heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; commercial kitchen equipment; business processes; and other systems. Some efficiency projects may also qualify for NYSERDA or utility incentives or rebates.

For additional requirements and information, along with contact information for participating lenders, go to The application for lender participation is at

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