An on-bill program enables building owners to repay loans for eligible energy efficiency and renewable electricity generation projects through their monthly utility bills. In some cases, the utility itself provides a loan directly to a utility customer to fund sustainable energy projects.  In other cases, a third party (usually a bank or credit union) provides the funding and a utility’s primary role is administrative – billing and payment processing. In any of these models, a utility could be involved with marketing, qualification of contractors, and project inspection. In all cases, the utility agrees to collect monthly payment for the repayment of the loan.  These loan payments are part of the customer’s monthly utility bill and, once collected, are used to repay the customer’s loan obligation.  The goal of most of these programs is for the customer’s bill to remain “payment neutralâ€? – the total amount paid to the utility remains the same – since the reduction in energy expenditures offsets the increase in the utility bill associated with the loan payment.   


Featured Resources


BlueArrow Financing Energy Improvements on Utility Bills: Market Updates and Key Program Design Considerations for Policymakers and Administrators  This SEE Action report reviews 30 existing on-bill programs and offers a detailed characterization of on-bill program design choices. The primary objectives of this report are: (1) to provide an updated review and analysis of existing on-bill programs and (2) to offer actionable insights on key program design issues for consideration by state policymakers, utility regulators and program administrators. Case studies are available that can help further the understanding of different types of financing mechanisms, including on-bill financing and repayment.

GreenArrow On-Bill Energy Efficiency Finance Programs – Frequently Asked Questions  Appalachian Voices provides detailed responses to frequently asked questions from rural cooperative utilities and their members.

OrangeArrow Finance Network Webinar: �Key Decision Points to Consider when Creating an Utility On-Bill Program� Original Broadcast June 25th, 2015 Utility on-bill programs are gaining momentum in the Southeast and many utilities are considering the use of this innovative finance mechanism to encourage investment in energy efficiency improvements. Join the Southeast Energy Efficiency Finance Network as we explore the key decision points that utilities need to consider when creating an on-bill program. Learn more about this important financing tool and gain insight from programs that are successfully up and running.


Program Examples

Pay As You $ave

RoanokeLogo Roanoke EMC is one of the first recipients of financing through the USDA’s Energy Efficiency & Conservation Loan Program (EECLP) offered by the Rural Utilities Service. The Upgrade to $ave program is a tariff-based on-bill financing program based on the Pay As You Save (PAYS) model created by the Energy Efficiency Institute.

Webinar:  Introduction to Roanoke Electric’s Upgrade to $ave Program with CEO Curtis Wynn Original Broadcast: Thursday, April 9, 2015


 howsmartkylogo How$martKY is a tariff-based, on-bill residential energy efficiency financing program run in conjunction with utility partners in the East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) system. The How$martKY program is not a loan or a subsidy, but an extension of the utility services that households are already receiving. After completing an energy assessment of the property and estimating the potential savings, the utility will oversee the contractor installing the energy efficiency upgrades and provide assurance that the improvements have been correctly installed.

Help My House

Help My House logo  The Help My House Loan Pilot Program was a test of energy efficiency as both a consumer product and a costeffective replacement for investment in new generation by electric utilities. HMH provided on-bill financing (OBF) for energy efficiency measures in 125 homes, and analyzed the financial impacts on the electric system shared by South Carolina’s 20 co-ops. Participants reduced their electricity use by more than a third—an average savings of nearly 11,000 kWh per home per year—and were extremely satisfied with the pilot and their co-ops. And, co-ops now better understand the financial impacts of an expanded program.

Home Energy Lending Program (HELP)

HELP_Logo-Web  The Home Energy Lending Program (HELP) is run by EEtility. Designed as on bill financed OR Repayment Program for Rural Electric Cooperatives initially in Arkansas, it’s customizable features include loan amounts, interest rates, amortization schedules and marketing strategies.  Participating co-ops share pre/post and ongoing meter data; use only HELP Network trained and certified auditors and contractors; leverage applicable gas utility company incentives; finance only allowable cost effective EE measures.  For more information, contact EEtility.


Have a Question? Ask an expert from the Finance Network

Do you have content you’d like to share or would you like to be listed as an on-bill expert?  Please send us your information to [email protected].