In 2012, Xcel Energy began implementing the Energy Efficiency Financing Program (EEFP) for Colorado ratepayers. The EEFP provides a budget to assist in the marketing, awareness and uptake in available financing products for commercial and residential customers.
HB&C has been a part of the implementation of the EEFP for almost 2 years, providing technical assistance, consultation and connecting lenders to the initiative. We were pleased to see that a recent report, commissioned by Xcel energy and executed by The Cadmus Group reported very positive findings for the program. (The Full Report can be found here.) Table 1 outlines the major financing products participating in the program at the time of writing.
HB&C’s recommendations focused on trade ally engagement (ensuring that contractors are aware of, comfortable with communicating and selling the financing options where appropriate). Marketing and offering support towards a market change where contractors are selling projects based on financing, instead of cash was a major focus. Utilizing the recognized and trusted Xcel Energy brand in these marketing efforts was also critical, though secondary to equipping contractors with the confidence to offer financing tools on their own.
Overall, the report found the program to be highly successful in increasing uptake in energy efficiency upgrades through integration of financing with other DSM programs (namely rebates).
Xcel Energy, with the assistance of HB&C, is looking for ways to increase the geographic availability of an unsecured residential finance product, which is currently only available in Boulder and Denver Counties.
Trade ally education and engagement are spurring increased uptake, thus Xcel Energy will work with HB&C in 2015 to offer continued education and trade ally engagement focused on financing.
Connecting trade allies directly with lenders and cultivating those relationships is important.
Table 2 (below) offers additional insights based on surveys of completed projects, on the importance and efficacy of Xcel Energy’s EEFP.