Inclusive Financing


Essential reading:

  • Introduction to Inclusive Financing webinar (Source: Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance)
    Description: Part one of a comprehensive, 8-part webinar series on establishing a PAYS program. The series covers all the basics you'd need for a solid grounding in inclusive finance.

  • Pay As You Save, a 90 second video (Source: Appalachian Voices / Resource Media)
    Description: What if your home could be fixed up so that you’re cool in the middle of summer, warm in winter, and you have more money every year for things you need? So begins a new 90-second video explaining a simple way to pay for home energy efficiency improvements. Simple in concept, that is, but a bit more complex in the details.

  • Roanoke Electric's insights and experience with offering a PAYS program (Roanoke Electric Co-op)
    Description: In “Sharing Insights of Our Experience with Pay As You Save® (PAYS®)” Roanoke Electric offers a number of unique resources regarding their Upgrade to $ave inclusive on-bill financing program. In the spirit of “cooperation among cooperatives,” REC lays out the road map on how to build a PAYS program, including briefings, webinars, an open letter from CEO Curtis Wynn, and a decision tool for utility managers.

  • Ouachita Electric's HELP PAYS program intro (includes video) (Source: Ouchita Electric Co-op)
    Description: Ouachita Electric’s webpage on their HELP PAYS on-bill program has essential resources for inclusive financing advocates, including a video, powerpoint presentation, and program update report. That report, “Opening Opportunities with Inclusive Financing for Energy Efficiency,” offers a detailed analysis of the first year of the program, laying out findings on participation, impacts, investments, types of improvements, market segmentation, energy savings, and cost recovery.

  • Inclusive Financing for Efficiency and Renewable Energy (Source: Institute for Local Self-Reliance)
    Description: The best energy efficiency programs serve less than 2% of customers each year, and few reach the majority of a utility’s customers, including renters, customers without strong credit, and low- and moderate-income households, who pay disproportionately high energy bills. Utilities can knock down major barriers to energy efficiency and renewables by allowing customers to make site-specific investments and recovering utility costs through an opt-in tariff. Tariffed on-bill programs are often referred to as inclusive financing because they allow all utility customers the option to access cost effective upgrades. Unlike loan-based programs, tariffed on-bill programs are open to all customers regardless of their income, credit score, or renter status.

Suggested reading:

  • Ensuring Your Rural Electric Co-op Works for You: Energy Efficiency (Source: Resource Media)
    Description: Slick 2-page handout about inclusive financing at rural electric co-ops with impact stories from 3 RECs who have implements these programs.

  • Inclusive Financing Learning Circle Series: Introduction to Inclusive Financing for Energy Efficiency (Source: SEEA)
    Description: Part two of a comprehensive, 8-part webinar series on establishing a PAYS program. The series covers all the basics you'd need for a solid grounding in inclusive finance.

  • Comparing PAYS, On-Bill Loans and PACE (Source: Clean Energy Works)
    Description: See the differences between loan and PACE-based programs and PAYS-based programs for financing energy efficiency programs

  • NCSEA Story of Energy Burden Solutions (Source: North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association)
    Description: NCSEA highlights the impact of Roanoke Electric’s work to reduce energy burden starting with energy efficiency upgrades based on PAYS.

  • “What is inclusive financing for energy efficiency, and why are some of the largest states in the country calling for it now?” 2-page summary or full report (Source: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy)
    Description: This paper was presented at the ACEEE Summer Study in 2018. It provides an overview of performance for all PAYS-based energy efficiency programs offered by utilities, including performance data for all existing programs where available.

  • Pay As You Save for Rural Electric Customers (Source: Northern Plains Resource Council)
    Description: An article about Tammy Agard of EEtility's keynote address and webinar on inclusive financing for Montana electric co-ops hosted by Northern Plains Resource Council. You can view the webinar here.

  • OBF Resource Chart (Source: Clean Energy Works)
    This chart was created to give folks an idea of who the resources in this section are targeted for (campaigners or member-owners) and what type of resources they are (inspirational or informational).

  • With No Upfront Costs, This Innovative Financing Tool Makes Energy Efficiency Affordable To All (Source: Ensia, Nate Berg, 2/26/19)
    Description: Article on Roanoke’s Upgrade to $ave program which lays out the benefits and impacts of their approach to reducing energy burden and opening the clean energy economy to all

Supplementary reading:

  • Federal Financing Options for On-Bill Energy Efficiency Programs (Source: Environmental and Energy Study Institute)
    Description: This document provides an overview of existing and pending federal programs that are available to eligible rural electricity providers for the purpose of developing and funding commercial and residential energy efficiency loan programs. The three programs, each offered (or expected to be offered) by the US Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service, are the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program, Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program, and Rural Energy Savings Program.

  • Domestic Energy Access Stories: North Carolina (Source: Duke University)
    Description: A video introduction to Roanoke Energy Cooperative's Upgrade to Save on-bill financing program.

  • NCSEA Energy Reserve Fund
    Description: NCSEA established an Energy Reserve Fund for utilities to use to mitigate the perceived risks of a PAYS-based program by utilities. This is now being used by utilities in three states.

  • Benham Saves program in Harlan County, KY, a video (Source: Kertis Creative, KFTC)
    Description: The mountain community of Benham, Kentucky received a healthy dose of national attention recently when the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum announced it has installed solar panels to save thousands of dollars annually on its power bill. This good news story is just one part of a larger story about how the Harlan County community, which was built as a coal camp by International Harvester, is now leading the way towards a Just Transition to a clean energy economy in Kentucky. This powerful new video tells another piece of Benham's clean energy story: How the town helps residents save money through energy efficiency.

  • Lights Out In the Cold: NAACP report on energy burden on African American communities (Source: NAACP)
    Description: According to a new report from the NAACP, utility company shut off policies disproportionately impact low-income and African American communities, literally leaving thousands in the dark, stranded in the cold during winter or severely impacted by sweltering summer temperatures. The report issued by the NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Program (ECJP) shows lower income communities spend a greater portion of income on electricity and heating costs than high-income communities. African Americans are twice as likely to live in poverty as non-African Americans and spend a significantly higher fraction of their household income on electricity and heating as non-African Americans.

  • Pay As You Save (PAYS) (Source: Clean Energy Works)
    Description: Pay As You Save® (PAYS®) harnesses a proven utility investment model to offer virtually all consumers cost-effective energy building upgrades.

  • Q&A: inclusive financing for building energy upgrades (Source: Clean Energy Works)
    Description: Find news and A-Z information on inclusive finance using PAYS.

  • NRECA monthly newsletter article on How$mart KY (Source: NRECA / KY)
    Description: This is a useful article, as it speaks to PAYS inclusive financing programs, and it's written by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.