Good information on finance options allows for informed decisions
Elements of Success
Offer participants extra education around financing options – how the options work, what it means for them, and guidance on making best selections. Plenty of education will increase the use of financing options available to participants.Provide multiple options for multiple solutions
Provide a range of options to reach as many participants as possible. Consider Tax Allocation Districts (TAD), Energy Service Companies (ESCO), Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) and/or Utility financing as options. Serve as an aggregator for information on what kinds of resources are available and what the qualifications are for those resources. Participants need assistance deciding which projects to fund and determining how to best fund the selected projects.
Create the opportunity for ‘skin in the game’
If the program is offering funding assistance or incentives structure the offer in a way that creates commitment from the participant – provide a split structure requiring an investment or match from the participant (whatever % feels right for your organization and market).
Leverage an application process
A competitive application for a financial award provides the funder or the program dispersing the funds to opportunity to determine the areas of impact for the community and criteria for which the funds will be invested. Impact areas could be focused on economic development where improving buildings in a district with low occupancy rates will attract new tenants in addition to reducing the property’s energy and water use, creating jobs and developing a clean energy workforce. In this case, the criteria could include a geographic boundary to jump start investment in the district, defining building performance metrics to be met such as percent reduction of energy and water compared to a baseline year within a period of time or installation of targeted technologies such as renewables.
- Acknowledge there are two sides to financing projects for participants and be prepared to support those. Participants need assistance deciding which projects to fund, and determining how to best fund the selected projects.
- Leverage financing as a way for participants to upgrade to cutting edge or high tech components within a project they might want to focus on as part of revitalization/aesthetic effort.
- Engage the local funding providers to make sure the program has a place in the discussion for potential financing opportunities. If there are local competitive funds available, it is helpful to have someone familiar with the program on the selection committee when appropriate.