Financing for small business energy efficiency projects

The Small Business program will be available for:

  • for-profit businesses
  • non-profit organizations

Like all of the programs highlighted on GoGreen Financing, the Small Business program is designed to encourage growth in private market lending and will feature a credit enhancement to help financing entities mitigate risk. The flexibility of this program gives the customer the option to combine financing with utility rebates and incentives, and gives finance companies the option to collect repayments through the customers’ energy bills. To participate in the Small Business program, the customer must meet the definition of a small business, which is defined — by industry – by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Finance companies and contractors who serve larger for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations, that do not meet the small business definition, may be interested in the Nonresidential program.

Qualifying projects

At least 70% of the credit-enhanced financed amount must be Energy Savings Measures or demand response. Up to 30% of the credit-enhanced financed amount may fund non-energy efficiency improvements. Financing for distributed generation (DG) improvements like solar photovoltaic (PV) may be included but will not receive a credit enhancement.

Financial products supported

Loans, leases, equipment finance agreements, energy service agreements up to $2.5 million


Owned or leased property must receive electric and/or gas service from any of the following energy companies:

  • Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E®)
  • San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E®)
  • Southern California Edison (SCE)
  • Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas®)

Repayment options

Finance companies can give customers the option to repay:

  1. Direct to finance company or
  2. On-bill repayment through the utility bill

Benefits for small businesses

  • Credit enhancement allows lenders to offer attractive financing terms
  • Both building owners and building tenants are eligible
  • Broad list of measures qualify for financing
  • Multiple paths to eligibility allow projects to be simple or highly customized
  • Flexible financing allows up to 30% of financed amount to fund non-energy efficiency improvements
  • Potential to pay for efficiency upgrades through energy savings

Benefits for finance companies

  • Mitigate credit risk through a loan loss reserve. The first $1 million of every enrolled financing product will receive a credit enhancement. Recover up to 90% of a charge-off.
  • Partner with the State of California and the State's energy companies to reach more customers
  • Take advantage of a statewide marketing campaign and expand your reach in California

Benefits for contractors or ESCOs

  • Grow your business by offering customers attractive financing to complete energy efficiency upgrades
  • Broad list of measures qualify for financing. Multiple paths to eligibility allow projects to be simple or highly customized
  • Complements on-bill financing (OBF) or commercial PACE
  • Take advantage of a statewide marketing campaign
  • Online interface allows for easy project entry and rapid qualification

Learn more

A workshop to discuss the Small Business program is planned for April 19th, 2018. Please check here for more information.

Anticipated start date

This program is currently under development. Program regulations are planned to be available for public comment in Q3 of 2018, and program launch is planned for Q4 of 2018.

For more information

For more information on the Small Business program, please contact:

Jonathan Verhoef

small business