California On-Bill Financing Programs

PAYS Commercial Programs in California  

In response to document .07-10-032, administered by the California Public Utilities Commission, Investor Owned Utilities (IOU) is directed to start or continue offering on-bill financing to small businesses and institutional customers. While it is essential to provide methods and opportunities for business owners and state institutions to conserve energy and save money, it is also vital that such opportunities are made available to the residents of California, especially renters.  Below is a list of the current programs operating throughout the state to commercial and tax-payer funded institutions. The next step to the successful On-Bill financing program would be to design mechanisms to offer residential consumers the same rewards.  


Cool Biz  

Rising energy costs have had a significant financial impact on small to medium sized businesses in the Bay Area.  In response, KEMA Services, Inc. has developed the Small Commercial Comprehensive Refrigeration (SCCR), or Cool Biz Program, to help offset the high cost of energy efficiency upgrades. The Cool Biz Program is designed to provide comprehensive energy efficiency measures to small and medium sized commercial businesses with refrigeration.


San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)

Since 2007, SDG&E’s on-bill loan program for small-businesses through offers qualified commercial and taxpayer-funded customers the opportunity to pay for energy-efficient business improvements on their utility bill.  To be eligible for the program, the customer must receive a rebate or incentive through an SDG&E energy-efficiency program, as well as have an existing account in good standing with SDG&E for two years prior.  Owners of multi-family units who do not live on the premises may qualify for financing through the Multi-Family Rebate program.  The equipment cost must be a minimum of $5,000 and loan maximum limits are $100,000 with a 5 year maximum loan term for businesses and $250,000 with a 10 year maximum term for tax-payer funded customers.  The loan term for the project is determined by the repayment period of the equipment and is calculated based on estimated annual energy savings not to exceed the maximum loan term limits.  



Southern California Gas Company (SCGC)

SCGC’s On Bill Financing (OBF) program is funded by California utility customers and administrated by SCGC under the direction of the California Public Utilities Commission.  This financing program offers qualified non-residential business and taxpayer funded institutional customers and owners of multifamily units who do not reside on the premises interest-free loans ranging from $5,000 to $250,000 to make energy efficiency improvements. Participants in the program must have had an active account for two years prior to filing, and the customer's account from the Gas Company must be in good standing. The funds can be used for a wide variety of efficiency improvement projects, and the monthly loan payments are added directly to the customer's bill.  



Southern California Edison (SCE)

The On-Bill Financing Program provided by SCE offers commercial and institutional customers with a monthly usage of 100 kW or less the opportunity to reduce operating expenses and finance retrofitting projects by covering the initial costs of installing the energy saving measures. Commercial property owners pay back these costs on their monthly utility bills interest free for up to 60 months.  The program includes an energy assessment and includes a specific list of measures to reduce the cost of refrigeration, cooling and lighting.