Extending Energy Efficiency Financing To Underserved Households

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory just released a new Policy Brief on NYSERDA’s Green Jobs-Green New York Program.  It focuses on their recent effort to extend EE financing to underserved households. Prior to the launch of GJGNY, NYSERDA used Fannie Mae Energy Loans to provide program participants with access to financing to overcome the upfront cost barrier of energy upgrades.  The underwriting standards for this unsecured loan product, including a minimum decision credit score of 640,  made financing inaccessible to many New York households—in recent years, approximately 30 percent of loan applications were rejected.  The new GJGNY financing platform is an effort to reduce this rejection rate by using alternative underwriting criteria to qualify creditworthy households for financing. This program is still in a very early stage, but may be of interest to this group.

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Comment by Jill Cliburn on February 2, 2011 at 11:13am
Thanks, Merrian, for a(nother) excellent report. I'd be interested if you and/or readers had any updated assessments of on-bill utility financing-- especially in communities that had previously hoped to use PACE.
Comment by Mark Zimring on January 28, 2011 at 9:21am
NYSERDA announced this week that it is raising the maximum Debt-to-Income (DTI) ratio from 50 to 55%.  This adjustment was made because a significant number of loan applicants were being rejected because their DTI's fell just a few percentage points above 50%.  NYSERDA's move is a good example of how monitoring incoming data in real-time allows programs to rapidly respond to enhance program efficacy.

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