Measures qualifying using the pre-qualified ESM list method only need to meet any requirements indicated in the list under the measure name. Measures qualifying for an IOU custom incentive automatically qualify for the program. For measures qualifying by the professional certification method, the Certified Energy Manager or Professional Engineer who is certifying the measures must provide an estimate of energy savings. This is not a guarantee but a good-faith estimate of savings based on accepted industry practices.
No. While any measure which receives a rebate or incentive from an IOU, REN or CCA automatically qualifies as an Energy Saving Measure (ESM) for the SBF program, participation in utility programs is not required. If desired, OBF financing may be paired with SBF financing to finance components of projects that qualify for SBF, but not OBF.
Yes, depending on the finance company and the composition of the project. A qualifying project must include at least one energy-saving measure, and a project where the majority of financing is not for energy-saving measures may not receive the full benefit of enhanced financing terms. Ask a participating finance company for more details.
Distributed generation and storage such as solar panels and batteries may be financed, but finance companies will not receive a credit enhancement for that portion of their financing. As such, these installations may be financed at the discretion of the finance company.
Participating finance companies will usually pay contractors directly for their work and some offer pre-funding or progress payments for qualifying contractors. Please consult directly with the finance company to explore your options.
OBF is administered by the utility companies and the financing comes from ratepayer funds. SBF is administered by the State of California and the financing comes from private financing companies. The two programs offer a variety of benefits and may also be combined on projects. For more information on these two forms of financing, please review this flyer to learn how SBF and OBF work together.
The SBF program offers a lot of flexibility. Depending on finance company approval, projects can be any size up to $5 million, and can include other measures (e.g. landscaping or remodeling) in addition to Energy Saving Measures (ESMs). Customers have access to multiple products including loans, leases, equipment finance agreements, service agreements and cash-flow positive options. Small businesses that lease or own their space can qualify. Finance companies can provide fast project approval. Some finance companies also provide pre-funding for qualifying projects and contractors.
A customer meeting the definition of a small business who receives service from at least one of California’s four investor-owned utilities (IOUs) - PG&E, SDG&E, SoCal Edison, SoCal Gas, or a Regional Energy Network (REN) or Community Choice Aggregator (CCA) - may apply for financing from a finance company participating in the program. Participating finance companies receive a credit enhancement for the financing they provide. The credit enhancement acts like insurance in the case that a customer defaults on their payment.