Financing Innovation Spurs Energy Upgrades in Bay Area's Multifamily Buildings

Coordinated programs provide streamlined access to low-interest loans, rebates and no-cost consulting services for energy efficiency improvements

OAKLAND, Calif — March 18, 2016 — A new Bay Area program that helps private lenders provide low interest financing for energy efficiency improvements in multifamily buildings recently closed its first three loans and has $1 million available to fund additional projects in 2016.

The Bay Area Multifamily Capital Advance Program (BAMCAP) provides loan capital at 0% interest to participating lenders for up to 50% of the cost of energy efficiency projects in apartment buildings and other multifamily properties. The owner pays interest only on the remaining loan capital supplied by the lender. This structure lowers the property owner's cost of capital, providing an incentive to invest in energy efficiency.

Together, the first three multifamily properties to participate accessed $879,000 in BAMCAP capital and $1.3 million in private capital for energy upgrades. The three projects also received cash rebates of $750 per unit and no-cost consulting services through Energy Upgrade California's Bay Area Multifamily Building Enhancements program.

The lenders for the three recently closed transactions were Popular Community Bank and California Community Reinvestment Corporation (CCRC). The funded projects include renter- and owner-occupied market rate and affordable housing.

"This transaction was quite creative and cutting edge," said Mark Rasmussen, CCRC Executive Vice President. "It marks one of the first examples of combining public and private capital to support multifamily housing energy efficiency projects in California. We hope that its success allows for similar projects to come to fruition in the future."

Property owners can access BAMCAP financing, rebates and consulting services through one coordinated application and quality assurance process. "When we learned that we could get a $750 credit per unit and a 0% interest loan on half the cost of our project we knew this was the time to upgrade!" said Paula Schnur, a participating Homeowners Association President. "At each step, the program helped us coordinate with the contractor and the bank. They provided us with no less than 10 different ways to achieve our energy consumption reduction goal. The online application process was effortless."

BAMCAP financing and the rebate program serve multifamily buildings with five or more attached dwelling units receiving PG&E gas or electric service in the San Francisco Bay Area. The programs encourage multifamily property owners to improve their real estate assets through energy upgrades such as new windows, added insulation, more efficient boilers, furnaces and water heating systems, water conservation devices, and energy-efficient appliances and lighting.

BAMCAP and the Bay Area Multifamily Building Enhancements program are offered by the Bay Area Regional Energy Network and funded by energy utility ratepayer funding under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. The BAMCAP financing partnerships were arranged by Energy Finance Solutions.

More information about the financing and rebate programs is available at bayareamultifamily.org.

About the Bay Area Regional Energy Network
BayREN is a collaboration of public agencies representing all nine counties within the San Francisco Bay Area. BayREN draws on the experience and expertise of Bay Area local governments to design and implement effective energy savings programs. www.BayREN.org

Energy Finance Solutions
EFS provides financing program consultation, design, and delivery services in support of energy efficiency improvements. Through partnerships with utilities, contractors, and other agencies, EFS offers residential customers a simple, affordable way to finance energy efficiency improvements. www.energyfinancesolutions.com