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Announcing new, 15-year financing to support energy upgrades in homes and rental properties through Epic Homes
Posted on: Apr-28-2020
The City of Fort Collins has approved new, 15-year loan agreements with Vectra Bank of Denver and the Colorado Energy Office for up to $3.25 million to support the City’s Epic Homes program. Epic Homes is a comprehensive public-private partnership designed to identify and improve energy inefficient single family homes and rental properties in Fort Collins, helping low- and moderate-income families who rent, as well as homeowners, rental property owners, and local contractors and suppliers who do the renovation work.
This first-of-its-kind program leverages the City’s borrowing capacity and Fort Collins Utilities operational expertise to provide attractive “on-bill financing,” allowing property owners to borrow money for energy upgrades at below-market rates for up to 15 years. Eligible projects include HVAC upgrades, insulation and air sealing, windows, ventilation, and now solar photovoltaic systems. Property owners then easily repay their Epic Homes loan on their monthly utility bill (not the tenants).
Epic Homes helps Fort Collins residents enjoy the economic, health and well-being benefits of improved energy efficiency in their homes. The program was selected as one of nine champion cities nationwide in the 2018 Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge, winning $1 million to support the initiative.
As a key partner, the Colorado Clean Energy Fund helped the City analyze the landscape of potential capital providers and identify and secure affordable, long-term capital from Vectra Bank. “We are proud to partner with Fort Collins Utilities and Vectra Bank to support Epic Homes. This program will allow participating homeowners to reduce their energy bills, save money and improve the health and safety of their homes. The Colorado Clean Energy Fund looks forward to working with other utility companies in Colorado to replicate this innovative program so that it is available to as many Coloradoans as possible,” said Paul Scharfenberger, executive director of the Colorado Clean Energy Fund. The Colorado Clean Energy Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit financial institution that operates as Colorado’s Green Bank. The Green Bank model is active in other states, including Connecticut, New York and Michigan and has driven more than $4 billion of investment into clean energy markets.
In addition, the Colorado Energy Office was instrumental in helping Fort Collins launch the Epic Homes initiative, providing a $200,000 grant in 2018 and the new $800,000 15-year loan this month. "Enabling low and moderate income Coloradans to enhance their homes to reduce energy costs and improve our air quality has never been more important, and the Energy Office is proud to be able to support this innovative program," said Will Toor, executive director of the Colorado Energy Office. The City also recently secured a $2.5 million loan with U.S. Bank to provide up to 10-year capital for the program.
“Epic Homes is a great opportunity to bring together multiple City sectors and organizations to benefit Fort Collins residents with healthier living spaces. It’s not about the houses, it’s about the people living in the houses, and I’m excited to see the positive impact this collaborative effort will have on our community,” said Fort Collins Mayor Wade Troxell.
John Phelan, Energy Services Senior Manager
Sean Carpenter, Lead Specialist, Economic Sustainability