Energy Efficiency Financing Program

May 06, 2010


The California Energy Commission (CEC) provides loans to Cities, Counties, public schools, public hospitals, and special districts to finance energy-saving projects. Originally established with $20 million in funding, California more than doubled the loan fund using money made available through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Public projects funded with money from ARRA must meet certain requirements which may be difficult for certain projects to meet. To add flexibility, the CEC developed two separate loan funds. $25 million in ARRA funds support a loan program with a 1.00% interest rate. Projects unable to meet the ARRA requirements can use the original $20 million in state funds, which support a separate loan program with a 3.00% interest rate. Interest rates are fixed for the term of the loan. The maximum loan amount is $3 million and there is no minimum loan. Loans must be paid back within 15 years from energy costs savings, or in 2 years for energy audits. Common projects include lighting and equipment upgrades and heating systems, but can also include other energy-saving measures and renewable energy systems. Application packets are available on the program website above.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Financial Incentive
State: California
Incentive Type: Loan Program
Web Site:
Administrator: California Energy Commission
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Combined Heat & Power
  • Lighting
  • Lighting Controls/Sensors
  • Chillers
  • Furnaces
  • Boilers
  • Heat pumps
  • Air conditioners
  • Energy Mgmt. Systems/Building Controls
  • Building Insulation
  • Motors
  • Custom/Others pending approval
  • Other Distributed Generation Technologies
Maximum Loan: $3 million
Loan Term: 1.00% or 3.00% fixed APR, depending on the project's ability to meet certain federal guidelines;
Maximum loan term of 15 years.


Name: Public Programs Office
Organization: California Energy Commission
Address: 1516 Ninth Street, MS #42
Sacramento CA 95814-5512
Phone: (916) 654-4104

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.