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On-Bill Financing

Image: Male business owner looking at brochure.

On-Bill Financing (OBF) helps your business finance qualifying energy efficiency projects. If you qualify, you would repay the loan in monthly installments which would be added as a line item on your bill. Through On-Bill Financing, you can fund your qualified energy efficiency project for zero interest and no fees, reduce your monthly electricity usage, and receive financial incentives for installing qualifying energy efficient equipment.

If you are considering OBF to help finance your 2013-2014 energy efficiency projects, make sure to carefully review the program information (See “New OBF Policy Changes effective November 18, 2013” below) as there are changes designed to:

  • Assure alignment with similar programs offered by other California investor-owned utilities, as required by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).
  • Promote cost-effective, comprehensive (multi-end use) projects
  • Provide greater assurance that customers (borrowers) fully understand program obligations

You can submit your OBF application, alongside your Express or Customized Solutions application, online using the Online Application Tool. The tool offers several benefits that save time and decrease the risk of your application being rejected (or held) for missing or incorrect information.

If you are unable to apply online, you may request an application by emailing EMSApplication@sce.com or calling (800) 736-4777.

Note that all 2013-2014 program changes apply only to new OBF applications and will not be applied retroactively.

New OBF Policy Changes effective November 19, 2013

SCE has modified the On-Bill Financing (OBF) program so that single end use lighting measures shall comprise no more than 20% of total project costs for business customers,  excluding government and institutional customers.

Emerging Technology Lighting Exemptions

Consistent with direction received from the CPUC, SCE has developed a framework for offering financing for emerging technologies. Financing in the 2013-2014 cycle distinguishes between “Basic” measures (generally those that are less costly and more well-established) and “Targeted” measures (generally those that are new, emerging, costly or hard-to-reach).

SCE has identified emerging lighting equipment which may be excluded from the 20% calculation due to their technologically-higher efficiencies and frequently higher initial costs.  As a general rule, the composition of measures within the “basic” and “targeted” categories falls along the following lines:

Targeted lighting: includes LED retrofits and advanced lighting controls measures.  For the 2013-2014 On-Bill Financing Program, measures in the following targeted categories will be exempt from the 20% cap:
• LED integral lamps
• LED retrofit kits
• LED fixtures
• Lighting controls that exceed requirements for Title 24 as of January 2014

In addition, if the definition of targeted lighting is expanded to include new/emerging measures in the statewide Commercial Program during 2013-2014, these measures will be eligible for exemption from the OBF 20% cap.

Basic lighting: includes all non-LED lighting retrofits (e.g., CFLs and linear fluorescents), and basic lighting controls that meet requirements for Title 24 as of January 2014. These measures will not be eligible for exemption from the 20% lighting cap.

Who is Eligible?

All business customers are eligible (i.e., all Non-Residential Customers). To participate in On-Bill Financing, you must:

  • Apply for and receive approval for incentives under one or more of the following incentive/rebate programs:
    • Express Pending Program (for projects not yet installed)
    • Customized Program
    • Third-Party Implementer Programs
    • Partnership Programs
  • Have had an active SCE account in good standing for at least two consecutive years
  • Be in good credit standing with SCE, without:
    • A disconnection notice in the past [2 years] [throughout the account’s history]
    • A 48-hour shutoff notice in the past [2 years] [throughout the account’s history]
    • A returned check in the past 12 months
    • A deposit requirement to establish or re-establish credit in the past 12 months
    • No more than three (3) overdue past due notices (20 days late) in the past 12 months.

 

Note: For Third Party OBF Program Application contact your authorized Third Party Program implementer.

Relationship between Incentive and OBF Applications
  • Approval of a qualified incentive and/or rebate application is a condition of OBF participation and approval. OBF funding is available to fund the remaining cost of qualifying energy efficiency measures after applicable incentives and/or rebates have been paid.
  • The Financeable Loan Amount for a given project eligible for OBF is the Project Cost (as evidenced by a detailed invoice), less approved incentive and/or rebate amounts. The estimated energy savings to be used as the basis for the loan calculation will be based upon the project approach the Applicant utilizes (deemed, calculated, or both). The approved estimated energy savings will be used as the basis for the loan calculation (for a more detailed explanation of how loan amounts are calculated, see “How are Loan Term and Approved Loan Amount Calculated”?)
  • Note: For the 2013 program, applicants who apply for a “comprehensiveness” bonus are eligible to receive OBF loan funding.

 

What are Loan Funding Limits and Loan Terms?

Loan funding limits are capped at the Service Account (SA) level. Customers with multiple SAs may have loans up to their SA cap at each SA with the exception of “Consolidated Loans”1.

Loan terms are 5 years for Business customers (3 years for Lighting Projects) and 10 years for public sector government and institutional customers. If the full Financeable Loan Amount cannot be repaid within the maximum Loan Term, the OBF loan application will be denied.

The following table defines the loan funding limits and terms for different types of Non-Residential customer categories.

On-Bill Financing Loan Funding Limits and Terms
Customer Segment Individual SA Bundled SAs Consolidated SAs Loan Terms
Business

Minimum $5,000

Maximum $100,000

NA

Minimum $5,000

Maximum $100,000

Up to 3 years for Lighting Projects

Up to 5 years for Non-Lighting Projects

Government & Institutional

Minimum $5,000

Maximum $250,000

Minimum $5,000

Maximum$250,000

NA Up to 10 years

*OBF does not finance projects where single end use lighting measures comprise more than 20% of the total project costs. Emerging technologies will be exempt from the 20% project cap. These technologies include the following targeted lighting LED retrofits and advanced control measures:

  • LED Integral Lamps
  • LED retrofit Kits
  • LED Fixtures
  • Lighting controls (except energy management systems, day lighting, occupancy sensors and any control that will fall under Title 24 as of January 2014.)

A complete list of exempt lighting technologies is available in the reference section of the online application tool at www.sceonlineapp.

How are Loan Term and Approved Loan Amount Calculated?

The factors determining the term length of the OBF loan are:

  1. The maximum loan term cannot exceed the loan term limits presented above.
  2. The term cannot exceed the expected useful life (EUL) of the installed equipment.

The factors determining how the final approved loan amount is calculated are:

  1. Maximum Loan Amount – The maximum loan amount is the difference between the Project’s final qualifying Project Cost less the actual incentive received from SCE.
  2. Estimated Bill Neutrality – The monthly loan repayment amount is calculated to be equal to the estimated monthly reduction in the customer’s utility bill as a result of the energy efficiency project.
  3. Loan Amount Limits - The loan amount for any one service account cannot exceed the established loan term limits presented above.

Note: In no cases will the eligible loan term be greater than that indicated by the bill neutrality calculation.

Examples:

Example #1. An Business customer is seeking to install a non-lighting project that, complies with the loan limits and term provisions of OBF :

Project Cost

$60,000

Incentive

$25,000

Maximum Potential Loan

$35,000

Estimated Monthly Bill Savings

$750*

Monthly OBF Loan Repayment

$750 (Bill Neutrality)

Months to repay OBF Loan

47 months

Service Account Loan Limit

$100,000

Measure Expected Useful Life

72 months

* Estimated 5,000 kWh/month times Customer’s average billing rate of $0.15/kWh.

This project would qualify for a $35,000 OBF loan, because:
1. The loan does not exceed the Service Account loan cap of $100,000;
2. The Expected Useful Life  of the project is greater than the loan term; and
3. The loan will  be repaid within the 5-year non-lighting loan term limit.
 

Example #2. An Business customer is seeking to install a project that does not fit within the Loan Amount and Loan Term provisions and therefore its OBF Application would be declined:

Project Cost

$60,000

Incentive

$25,000

Maximum Potential Loan

$35,000

Estimated Monthly Bill Savings

$525*

Monthly OBF Loan Repayment

$525 (Bill Neutrality)

Months to repay OBF loan

67 months

Service Account Loan Limit

$100,000

Measure Expected Useful Life

72 months

* Estimated 3,500 kWh/month times Customer’s average billing rate of $0.15/kWh.

This project would not qualify for a $35,000 OBF loan because:

  1. Although the loan is within the Service Account loan cap of $100,000; and
  2. The Expected Useful Life of the project is greater than the loan term;
  3. The loan cannot be repaid within the 5-year loan term limit, and thus the OBF loan application would be declined.
Additional Application Submission and Program Requirements
  1. Applicants seeking to change a submitted application in ways that impact energy savings, measure approach (i.e., deemed to calculated) or bill neutrality, will be required to submit a new application. No amended applications will be accepted.
  2. The CPUC has implemented significantly more stringent requirements to better assure quality installations of ratepayer-funded energy efficiency projects. These requirements are contained in the descriptions of incentive/rebate programs and include, but are not limited to:
    1. Applicant Certification that a licensed contractor is being used on a project installation, as required
    2. Applicant Certification that where an HVAC Permit is required, the permit has been obtained. The Permit Number along with the relevant permitting agency must be included on the submitted Installation Report form.
    3. If a Contractor was used for any HVAC work, the Contractor must certify that they are:
      1. licensed,
      2. followed applicable permitting requirements, and
      3. providing correct permit information.
  3. An Authorized Customer representative (as specified in the original incentive/rebate and OBF application) must sign a copy of the final invoice. The signed final invoice will be used as the basis for evaluating project costs for the purposes of final OBF loan calculations.
  4. SCE reserves the right to request an executed contractor/customer installation agreement, inclusive of price quotations, for any project. The existence of and execution of this contractor/customer agreement is a requirement under the terms and conditions of all incentive/rebate and OBF programs. This agreement may be used as a basis for validating the final invoice.
  5. SCE is expanding eligibility for Direct Install to include customers with demand up to 200 kW. As part of its OBF application receipt acknowledgement, SCE will provide a disclosure to relevant OBF applicants informing them that they may be eligible for EE Direct Install program. A link to www.sce.com that provides a current schedule of Direct Install implementation will be provided as part of this disclosure.
  6. Although OBF are no-fee loans, if the applicant or the applicant’s customer authorized agent requests or requires a re-inspection [of the project], SCE may charge a fee (ranging from $250 to $750) for such additional work.  Any such fee may be deducted from OBF loan proceeds. .
  7. Loan Proceeds will be issued to end-use customers in all cases, unless the applicant specifically designates the Authorized Agent1  as the Payee. This designation must occur as follows:
    • An authorized representative of the customer must clearly identify a third party Customer Authorized Agent in the Incentive/Rebate and OBF Applications.
    • The same authorized representative of the Customer must clearly designate the Customer Authorized Agent as the Payee  for loan proceeds in the OBF Application
    • Customer Authorized Agents must participate in an SCE hosted OBF Training to be eligible for OBF program participation
  8. No third party financial institutions may directly receive loan proceeds check issuances from SCE unless they are designated as the Authorized Agent by the customer and are compliant with SCE’s Authorized Participant guidelines.

1Customer Authorized Agents must provide SCE with signed copies of SCE’s Authorized Participant Guidelines in order to receive incentive/rebate and/or OBF loan proceeds checks. Lack of compliance with Authorized Participant Guidelines may result in Customer Authorized Agents not being able to a) Receive incentive/rebate and/or OBF checks on behalf of customers, and b) Continue participation in SCE Incentive/Rebate and OBF programs.

Glossary

Glossary

Business Customers

Commercial, Industrial and Agricultural customers.

Consolidated OBF Loan

When the OBF and loan consolidation requirements are met, we will consolidate multiple Service Accounts (SA) into one or more consolidated OBF loan. This will minimize the number of OBF Loans.

For all loans the following will apply:

  • Based on the specifics of the energy-efficiency project and the SAs involved, SCE reserves the right to determine an appropriate consolidation(s)
  • For a consolidated loan, all applicable SAs must be under the same Customer Account
  • The loan limit caps outlined above will apply to consolidated OBF loans
    • A consolidated business loan will be capped at $100,000
    • A consolidated Government and Institutional Loan will be capped at $250,000

In addition to the above for Businesses Customers the following applies:

  • All the SAs within a consolidated OBF loan must be at the same site (a building or a single location that provides a particular service or is used for a particular purpose).
  • Loan minimum is $5,000 per SA

If you are a Governmental and Institutional Customers the following would apply:

  • The SAs within a consolidated OBF loan may be at the same site, or across several sites (a building or a single location that provides a particular service or is used for a particular purpose).
  • Loan minimum is $5,000

Lighting Project

A project for which the approved lighting incentive is greater than or equal to 90% of the total approved project incentive.

Expected Useful Life (EUL)

The average length of time the equipment may be operational, based on historical analysis. If there is more than one measure installed, the EUL of the equipment which contributes the greatest kWh savings for the project will be used.

This program is funded by California utility customers and administered by Southern California Edison under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. This program is offered on a first-approved, first-served basis and is effective until funding is expended or the program is discontinued by the California Public Utilities Commission. The website provides information for the customers’ convenience; however, the program terms and conditions are set forth in the 2013 On-Bill Financing application and in the event of a conflict between the Loan Agreement and this website, the terms of the Loan Agreement shall govern.  This program may be modified or terminated without prior notice.