Business Efficiency Loan#
Upgrade Your Facility with Low Cost Financing
Through the Business Efficiency Loan, commercial building owners can now take advantage of low interest rates and easy qualification standards to finance energy and water efficiency upgrades, in addition to solar PV.
- Save money with lower utility bills
- Lower maintenance costs
- Improve employee productivity and comfort
- Improve tenant retention
- Reduce emissions
- Fixed rates as low as 3.75 percent APR*
- Flexible terms of 3, 5, 7 and 10 years
- Minimum loan of $1,000**
- A 2 percent fee applies to energy loans over $40,000
- Loans can cover up to 100 percent of the project cost (less Efficiency Works rebates)
- A $25 processing fee will be applied and all borrowers must become members of Elevations Credit Union
- An active Fort Collins Utilities water or electric customer account in the name of the individual or legal business entity for the premise is required.
- All upgrades must begin with a pre-approval from Efficiency Works.
- Lighting upgrades
- Energy Audit ASHRAE Level 2 or 3
- Energy Management
- Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
- Office Equipment
- Laundry Equipment
- Motors and Drives
- Refrigeration, Food Service and Grocery
- Walls and Roofing
- Water Heaters
What is the minimum amount I can borrow through the Elevations energy loan program?
For home energy loans on a personal house or property, the minimum amount is $500. For business energy loans the minimum is $1,000
What are Elevations energy loan terms and rates?
Elevations Credit Union is offering 36, 60, 84, 120, and 180 month fixed rate loans with no prepayment penalties for both home and business loans. Home energy loans start as low as 2.75% APR and business energy loans start as low as 3.75% APR.
There is an upgrade or retrofit I would like to undertake on my property but I do not see it on the list of eligible measures?
The criteria for likely approval of a measure depends on its similarity to existing measures - or function as an extension of, or technological advancement that builds off an existing measure, total potential energy savings, and relevance to emerging or innovating technologies.
I am not a member of Elevations Credit Union and I do all my banking elsewhere, do I still need to join Elevations?
Yes, all borrowers are required to become a member of the credit union either prior to or at time of closing. A $25 deposit to a share savings account is necessary to initiate the membership.
I would like to take out a loan for solar panels or a geothermal system for my property, is that possible?
Yes, many renewable energy technologies are on the list of eligible measures including solar panels, solar garden subscriptions, and small system biomass and wind power. However, it is required that you achieve or are projected to achieve 15% energy savings through other eligible energy efficiency measures. This requirement is to ensure that your property does not have any major inefficiencies that would require a larger-than-necessary renewable system to be installed. Your advisor can help you through the process of achieving maximum energy savings at minimum cost to you.
I am building a new home or making an addition to my current home. Can I take out a loan to fund energy efficient construction?
No. Unfortunately the projects must only be for existing buildings and Elevations cannot loan to "new construction." The work needs to take place within the existing footprint of the structure. Work on an existing building that involves an expansion of the footprint will be reviewed on a case by case basis for eligibility.
Can I take out a loan for a power purchase agreement or solar leasing arrangement?
Yes. Many solar companies operate on a business model where the customer does not own the solar panels that are installed on their roof; instead, they agree to purchase the power that is produced from those panels at a fixed price for a period of time (usually 20 years.) Additionally, many companies now offer solar leasing, but with tighter credit requirements and at higher rates than the Elevations energy loan program. If you do not qualify for one of these programs, you may qualify for an Elevations energy loan. The 15% stipulation still applies for PPAs and solar leases as well as if you are a Denver resident or business.
What about work that has to be done as a result of the Energy Efficiency improvement?
Measures needed to install the new equipment can be financed, such as repairing drywall or relocating pipes to install a new boiler. In addition, health and safety measures can be funded as part of the loan if they are needed as a result of the energy efficiency work being done. For instance, CAZ testing after building envelope work and/or HVAC work plus any associated ventilation work that needs to be done as a result of the CAZ test.
Are there any restrictions on the types of facilities that are eligible to participate in this loan?
The following facilities are not currently eligible for an Elevations energy loan:
- Any business not a current Fort Collins Utilities electric or water customer
- Public or government institutions
- Medical marijuana facilities
- Golf courses
- Facilities with pools
Does Solar Thermal count as a renewable energy measure?
No, Solar Thermal is considered an energy efficiency measure under this program, and is thus not subject to the 15% energy savings first rule. In fact, installation of solar thermal system can be used toward achieving your 15% energy savings-for-renewable-energy goals.
*APR = Annual Percentage Rate. Actual APR will be determined when you apply and will be based on your application and credit information. Click here for additional rate information.
**Business energy loans over $40,000 may be variable rate, are underwritten on a case by case basis and may take longer to process. Business energy loans may exceed $150,000 with prior review.
***In order to qualify for Solar Photovoltaic and other renewable energy sources under this loan, borrowers must achieve 15 percent energy efficiency improvement to the property through the respective programs.
Note: Participants can only have one Business Efficiency Loan open with Utilities per premise. Multiple projects can be approved with different participating contractors and included in the loan. However, projects must be completed simultaneously.
Building Energy and Water Scoring: Benchmark Your Facility
Local and national comparisons of peer facilities provide a simple, yet valuable way for building owners and property managers to understand their facilities’ energy use and identify opportunities to reduce energy-related costs. Start monitoring and improving your building’s performance at fcgov.com/BEWS