By Stephanie Enloe,
Center for Rural Affairs
What if you could reduce your electric bill while increasing the comfort of your home? More and more utilities are finding ways to do this, often using “tariffed on-bill financing.”
Tariffed on-bill financing may be a dry term, but programs in this category have exciting benefits for residential electric utility customers. These programs – sometimes billed as “Upgrade to Save” or “Pay as You Save” – can save customers hundreds of dollars annually, enable utilities to provide energy efficiency upgrades, help homeowners build equity in their homes, and create local jobs.
Using a tariffed on-bill approach, a utility covers the upfront cost of an energy efficiency or distributed generation project for a customer’s home. The customer pays for the upgrade, usually over many years, via a small “tariff,” or fee, on their bill. Because these projects help customers use less energy, programs can be designed so the total cost of each bill is still lower than before they installed the upgrades.
Rural electric cooperatives, which serve 45 million rural Americans nationally, usually are eligible to apply for millions of dollars to finance these programs using the Energy Efficiency Conservation Loan Program (EECLP). This program provides low-interest loans to rural utilities to help customers install energy efficiency or other clean energy projects.
Using EECLP and on-bill financing, rural electric cooperatives are in a position to infuse millions of dollars into the rural communities they serve.
For more On-Bill Financing information contact Stephanie Enloe, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.