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Funding is one of biggest barriers to energy retrofits. The Energy Network can help public agencies like yours overcome this challenge quickly and efficiently by identifying and analyzing financing options. As an objective third-party resource, we also help you apply for project financing and incentives. All financial services are free to qualifying agencies in The Energy Network service territory and may be used as a stand-alone service or used in conjunction with our other services, including technical assistance and turn-key project delivery. 

The Energy Network's Financing Program Offers Several Benefits: 

Turnkey financial services

We realize that staff time and budgets are at a premium for public agencies. The Energy Network can take care of all your financing needs, requiring little of your staff resources.

Financial analysis

Each Agency’s needs and projects are unique. We can help you identify what financing products are available to fund your projects and analyze the best solution to fit your needs.

Finance and incentive application assistance

Once you have decided to finance your project, The Energy Network can assist you with completion of the financing and incentive applications for your project.

Access to funding through Energy Project Lease Financing 

The Energy Network Energy Project Lease Financing is a program that addresses many of the common challenges that public agencies face when financing energy projects. The flexibility of terms and access to low cost capital is an attractive option to many agencies.

Financial Advisor

Public Financial Management Inc. (PFM) provides financial advisory services to The Energy Network and is available to assist directly with the evaluation of financing options. Upon selection of financing, PFM can assist with finalization of terms, documents and funding.

Trusted third-party objective resources

Our mission is to help public agencies complete energy saving projects and we are committed to finding the solution that makes the most sense for your agency. We have also developed tools and an extensive array of resources for your use.

Financial Analysis

Each Agency’s needs and projects are unique. The Energy Network can help you identify what financing products are available to fund your projects and analyze the best solution to fit your needs.

To accurately analyze the financing options available to your agency, we use information received from an energy audit (some Agencies may qualify to receive a free audit from The Energy Network) along with information from you such as available cash, ability to borrow, project timing and the utility incentives available for your project. This information is entered into our financial calculator to help us demonstrate options available to finance the project.

Often times, it is more advantageous to bundle energy projects in order to spread the financing costs and to realize greater energy savings from the measures implemented. The Energy Network’s financial analysis considers this and looks at the optimal way to bundle projects to get the most out of your budget.

After our financial analysis is complete, you will receive a Financing Plan that will outline our conclusions and assumptions. The Financing Plan will contain a variety of financial metrics to determine the project’s effectiveness - including simple payback, net present value and the savings to investment ratio – and to allow you to better determine how you want to proceed.

If you decide to proceed with your project, The Energy Network will assist you in gathering necessary documents and submitting the applications for financing and/or incentives.

Energy Project Lease Financing

Energy Project Lease Financing addresses many of the common challenges public agencies face when financing energy projects. The program offers low interest rates, and a simple application process to quickly get funding from private lenders. Financing is not contingent on whether the project qualifies for utility rebates and incentives, and can be combined with utility or public financing.

Energy Project Lease Financing offers several benefits:

  • No up-front capital required
  • No maximum borrowing limit
  • Competitive interest rates
  • Terms of up to 15 years, allowing projects to be cash flow positive
  • Simple, quick process with little paperwork
  • No cross collateralization with other agencies
  • Unlimited funding available through private lenders
  • Semi-annual payments

 Financing Terms

 Type of Upgrade

Energy Efficiency, Water Efficiency, Renewable Energy,
Street Lighting, other

 Type of loan  Lease secured by real property
 Interest Rates  Market rate (currently between 3-5%)
 Lease Term  15 years maximum for energy efficiency, 20 years maximum for solar.
 Financing Amount  Minimum = $250,000; No maximum.

*For additional lease terms, please see The Energy Project Lease Financing’s bidder requirement term sheet.

Eligibility Requirements

Agency Eligibility
  • Financing is available to local governments and public agencies within the State of California, including publicly funded schools and healthcare facilities, cities, counties and water districts.
  • The governing board of the applicant must authorize the borrowing of funds via an authorizing resolution.
  • Agency must submit a completed application with project data, basic financial information and estimated energy savings.
  • Agency must submit the last three years of audited financials, most recent interim financial statement and current budget demonstrating the capacity to make lease payments.
  • Agency must have a verifiable credit standing

Project Eligibility

  • Energy efficiency, water-saving, renewable energy or street lighting projects. Other building upgrades will be considered. Common improvements include boiler and chiller upgrades, HVAC systems, lighting, window and door upgrades, plumbing fixtures, system controls, solar, reflective roofs, elevator modernization and insulation.
  • Projects that produce operational or maintenance savings.
  • Soft costs and projects that do not exhibit direct savings such as energy management systems or street light conversions (from series to parallel) may be financed.
  • Loans are structured as equipment leases secured by the new equipment and upgrades installed during the project or by using real property such as a building. Improvements made to facilities with existing encumbrances may require an alternate security pledge.
  • Qualified, licensed staff or qualified, licensed contractors must make installations.
  • Multiple projects for a single agency may be aggregated into one lease.

Frequently Asked Questions


Financing your energy project using Energy Project Lease Financing is a quick and easy process.

  1. Fill out an application and provide a few items of supporting documentation, such as your current year budget and energy audit.
  2. The Energy Network sends your application to our broker who will ask for competitive bids from a large list of qualified financial institutions.
  3. Within 5 days, The Energy Network will receive an Offer to Finance that outlines the interest rate, duration of the loan and lease terms.
  4. If you’re happy with the Offer to Finance, The Energy Network will go with you to get Board or Council approval for the financing.
  5. The Energy Project Lease Financing is able to close within 30 days and the funds will be available to you to begin your project. 

Get Started

Fill out your Application today and The Energy Network’s financing team will be in touch to help you secure funding and get started on your project.

Other Financing Products

When it comes to implementing energy projects and finding the financial resources to fund them, we all have different needs. Just as there are many different financing needs out there, there are also many different types of financing available to fill those needs. Not every type of financing is right for each agency or each situation.

Often times, it is advantageous to combine funding sources in order to finance an energy project. The Energy Network has created a financing decision tree that helps identify the available benefits of the three most frequently requested types of financing.

Besides Energy Project Lease Financing, other popular types of funding include:

  • Cash, whether from an Agency’s General Fund, a grant or some other resource, is often the simplest method of financing an energy project. It carries no interest rate, no fees and no special terms and conditions. However, financing products may offer other benefits that are more compelling than cash for some agencies. Reserving cash and using a financing product may allow an agency to keep cash handy for other uses or emergencies or allow an Agency to finance additional projects increasing the return on the investment.
  • Utility On-Bill Financing allows public agencies to finance energy efficiency projects that are eligible for utility incentives with a zero interest loan. The loans are made on a reimbursement basis and repaid by the Agency as part of the utility bill over a period up to 10 years. Utility On-Bill Financing Programs are available through Southern California Edison and Southern California Gas Company.
  • California Energy Commission’s Energy Efficiency Financing offers 1 percent loans up to $3 million to cities, counties, public schools, public hospitals and special districts to pay for energy efficiency projects over a term up to 20 years. Loans are made on a reimbursement basis. Funding is limited and applications are accepted on first-come-first serve basis.
  • Tax Exempt Bond Financing offers longer terms (up to 20 or 30 years) and may be issued at a fixed or variable rate to cover 100% of the project costs. 
  • California Proposition 39 (Clean Energy Jobs Act) & Senate Bill 73 provides approximately $279 million for eligible energy efficiency and clean energy generation projects in schools and community college districts for the 2014-2015 budget year and additional funds are intended to be available for subsequent years through 2017-2018. Funds are awarded as a grant after the school has submitted and received approval for an energy expenditure plan.
  • Energy Revolving Loan Funds are an internal pool of money that may be set up by the Agency to finance energy projects. Utility bill savings from the financed projects replenish the pool of money allowing additional projects to be financed. Energy revolving loan funds may be set up in many different ways in order to best suit the needs of the Agency it is servicing. Specific considerations include putting restrictions on the project type, payback period, or term.
  • Other Options are available to finance energy projects for Agencies. The Energy Network can help you identify and assess other sources of funding. Also, please visit the Resources and Tools section below tab for links to additional financing products.

Resources & Tools

The Energy Network Resources
(Under construction)

Other Resources

  • Southern California Solar Finance Guide is a handbook outlining the most popular financing programs available in Southern California to finance energy projects in residences, businesses and public agencies.
  • is an online resource search engine to help home owners, business owners and public agencies identify and compare energy financing programs in Southern California.
  • provides a list of incentives, rebates, policies and financing available within California for energy projects.  

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