- Colorado-based businesses can finance commercial LED lighting projects at below-market interest rates through a new partnership between the Colorado Clean Energy Fund and the National Energy Improvement Fund.
- The CCEF will provide financing at a 3.45% interest rate, with program-qualifying upgrades performed by NEIF-approved contractors businesses can find through the NEIF portal..
- The partnership follows sustainability-focused legislation Colorado approved this spring, which provides state financing for clean energy projects and requires commercial buildings to meet new energy building codes.
Both partners said they want to provide more opportunities for Colorado’s commercial businesses to update their lighting systems.
By upgrading to LED lighting, businesses can save money, receive tax deductions, access utility rebates and reserve working capital, CCEF said. Nonprofits and commercial entities in rural areas, which have generally had less access to funding, also can save on operating costs through the partner program, it said.
“Replacing outdated and inefficient lighting with the latest LED technology is one of the most cost-effective improvements a business can make to its building and operations — the financial payback is almost immediate,” said Paul Scharfenberger, CEO of Colorado Clean Energy Fund. The financing will provide energy bill relief to small businesses across Colorado, he added.
NEIF co-chair and founder Matthew Brown said the NEIF commercial financing portal aims to help contractors offer customers cash flow-positive monthly payment proposals and facilitate easier decision-making for business property owners.
The loan terms now available are set to change after Dec. 31, according to the release.
Created in December 2018, the CCEF was born out of a three-year collaboration between the Colorado Energy Office, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Coalition for Green Capital. The fund’s goals are to provide a specialized, nonprofit intermediary to encourage renewable energy generation across the state, identify barriers to financing clean energy projects, bridge the gap between those projects and traditional capital providers and drive commercial demand for these financing solutions through market engagement and development activities.
Its objectives align with the state’s Greenhouse Gas Roadmap initiative, which aims to reduce Colorado’s overall greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2050, compared with 2005 levels. Against that backdrop, the commercial LED financing initiative fortifies an ongoing statewide push to reduce emissions.