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Energy and Water Efficiency Upgrade Financing


Recently, a postcard was mailed to homes in various San José zip codes by The City did not authorize this mailing, and does not endorse the statements made in the postcard. See information on this page concerning energy and water efficiency financing options.

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Financing Options

Upgrading buildings with energy and water efficient improvements is a great way to help the environment, potentially save on utility bills, and meet local and state sustainability goals. Homeowners and commercial property owners in San José have many options for financing green building upgrades. Examples of upgrades include lighting improvements, solar panels, water efficient landscaping, and much more.

Below are examples of finance options available in San José. Each financing option may only be applicable to different types of energy and water efficiency upgrade projects.

  • Energy & Water Efficiency Upgrade Financing Collage: HVAC, drip irrigation, and insulated windows Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)
    Enables homeowners and commercial property owners to finance upgrades by attaching an assessment on the property tax bill that can be paid over time. If the property owner defaults on payment, the property may be foreclosed on by the PACE provider.
  • Residential Energy Efficiency Loan (REEL)
    Developed by the State of California for homeowners, this loan does not require home equity. In some cases, this loan may be repaid on the utility bill. It may also fund up to 30 percent towards any renovation project.
  • On-Bill Financing (OBF)
    Offered through PG&E for commercial property owners, this interest-free option does not require money down and is paid on the utility bill. It is limited to energy efficiency projects in the PG&E rebate program.
  • Energy Savings Agreement (ESA)
    Contracts administered by third parties that package energy efficiency as a service that commercial property owners pay for through energy savings.
  • Home Equity Loan
    Conventional loan option for homeowners or commercial property owners in which the borrower pledges an asset as collateral. If the loan defaults, the property may be foreclosed on by the lender.
  • Lease
    Homeowners and commercial property owners can lease energy equipment or a solar system, while making regular payments to lessor over time. The lessor owns the equipment, but the lessee may be able to purchase it at the end of the lease.
  • Unsecured Loan (Credit Card)
    Loan option for homeowners and commercial property owners that does not require collateral, but does have credit requirements.

Financing Options Assistance for Residents

BayRen Logo The Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN) Home+ Program provides energy efficient rebates, resources, and assistance over the phone to help navigate energy efficiency project financing, understand contractor bids, and more. Call 866-878-6008 today to speak with an Energy Advisor. Learn more.