In 2013, the Fresno Energy Watch identified a trend of small and medium-sized businesses receiving energy assessments through the PG&E Direct Install Program; businesses that were recommended upgrades with a co-pay valued at less than $5,000 often did not convert into installs due to lack of attractive financing options for the co-pay.
In response, the Economic Development Corporation serving Fresno County (Fresno EDC), a local government partner with the Fresno Energy Watch, developed a loan program for the co-pay costs in coordination with Fresno CDFI, a community development financial institution that provides lending services to low and moderate income communities.
Coined the POWER (Promoting Opportunity With Energy Retrofits) Loan, the loan program was designed to address a need for financing energy efficiency upgrades co-pay cost that may have otherwise prevented projects from being completed. Designed to provide similar financing terms as the PG&E On-Bill Financing Program, the Fresno Energy Watch subsidizes the overhead of the POWER Loan, allowing for retrofit co-pay costs of less than $5,000 to be financed at 0% interest with loan periods up to 24 months. For more information, see a case study on the program available here.