What is On-Bill Financing?
A streamlined and affordable approach for home and business energy efficiency upgrades, now also including solar photovoltaic and battery charger opportunities.
On-Bill Financing (OBF) is a program that provides loans from First Southwest Bank (FSWB) to La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) members for installing solar and/or energy efficient enhancements at their home or business with no up-front costs and at a low-cost, fixed interest rate. Loan payments are then repaid over time through the members’ monthly LPEA electric bill.
How does it work?
- Identify Energy Needs: On-Bill Financing relies on you, an LPEA member, to identify the energy measures you want financed. No energy audit is required. If the loan is for an interconnection and net metering solar PV system at your home or business, the solar array size (kW capacity) needs to be no more than 100% of the annual historical electric consumption at the service location. An estimated example: A home with an annual electric consumption of 8,000 kWh would be able to apply for an OBF loan through FSWB for a 5 kW solar PV system (8,000 kWh / 5.5 hours per day / 365 days / 80% production factor). As a reference, on average, a 5 kW solar PV system could cost $15,000 given a $3.00 per watt pricing.
- Apply Online: Apply for the On-Bill Financing program HERE. Before receiving approval for an OBF loan for a solar PV project, you must submit an Interconnection/Net Metering Application to LPEA so that LPEA can perform an engineering review for your proposed generation system, and can provide information on any necessary provisions related to your project. Please find information on LPEA’s Interconnection/Net Metering Application and process HERE and check out our list of Qualified Solar Installers.
- Application Review: LPEA grades the application based on the customer's utility bill payment history for the last two years. The loan application is then passed on to First Southwest Bank for final approval.
- Project Installation: You then use the loan to pay for labor and materials.
- Monthly Repayment Begins: Your first month's loan repayment will appear on your next scheduled LPEA bill.
What energy projects are eligible for financing?
On-Bill Financing covers the cost of materials and labor for projects, including:
- Caulking/weather stripping
- LED lighting
- Storm or thermal windows and doors
- Insulating window coverings
- Water heaters, heat pump systems or other heating or cooling systems that reduce energy consumption
- Energy Star-rated appliances
- Solar installs, panels, chargers, and expenditures
- Solar for vehicle battery chargers
- Battery energy storage systems
Renewable generation projects (i.e., solar panels) are also eligible for this program.
How much can I apply for?
LPEA members in good standing can apply for loans up to $35,000 for energy efficiency and/or beneficial electrification upgrades and renewable generation solar PV projects. For larger business loans, please inquire. Restrictions may apply.
How can I get more information?
Can I hire a handyman or contractor to do the work under this program, and can I pick the contractor/solar provider for this work?
Yes. The financing includes purchase of the materials (such as caulking/weather stripping or LED flood lights) and will cover the cost of the labor to do the installation for you. We recommend you refer to LPEA’s Qualified Solar Installer list to select a solar contractor.
How do I apply for On-Bill Financing?