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  MCE Announces Green Loan Program for Richmond Customers
October 9, 2013

Today, MCE announced a new green loan program that is being offered to MCE customers in Richmond. It’s new and totally innovative and MCE is really excited about introducing it in Richmond. Approximately 80% of Richmond electricity consumers are MCE customers.

The short is that MCE is offering loans to MCE customers in partnership with First Community Bank and River City Bank to finance energy efficiency upgrades and utility appliance replacements. MCE customers take the loans out through the bank but repay the loan on their monthly PG&E bill – so there are no extra bills to pay, it alleviates the upfront cost of paying for an energy efficiency improvement, and there’s a direct link between the energy efficiency savings and the cost of the project.

The MCE Green Loans are available to single-family, multifamily, and commercial property owners. Details are included in the press release below, and you can find more about the MCE Green Home Loans for single family property owners on our website here: www.mceCleanEnergy.com/loans

First Community Bank and River City Bank to Provide Loan Services

SAN RAFAEL, CA — A new innovative tool that allows MCE customers to pay for energy efficiency investments through their PG&E bills is now widely available across Marin and Richmond. First Community Bank, based in Santa Rosa with a branch in Corte Madera, will provide financing to single-family homeowners.  River City Bank, based in Sacramento, will provide financing to eligible multi-family and small commercial property owners wishing to participate in the program.
Qualifying multi-family and small commercial properties may apply for Green Biz Loans between $10,000 and $265,000 through River City Bank at a 5.0% interest rate for 5-10 year terms[1].  Qualifying single-family properties can apply for Green Home Loans between $2,500 and $30,000 through First Community Bank at 6.5% interest for 5-10 year terms.  These loans can then be repaid over time on the customer’s standard electric bill.
Financing is a critical step towards accomplishing energy efficiency upgrades, which ultimately save customers money on their utility bills. The initial costs associated with implementing an energy efficiency project can serve as a barrier for property owners who may be interested in making such improvements. The Green Loan program will help to alleviate this barrier.
MCE’s Green Loans create a strong link between the anticipated energy savings resulting from the project upgrades and the cost of financing the project by tying the loan to the utility bill.  In many cases, energy savings are sufficient to cover the monthly payments for the financing so that the total monthly charge on utility bills is less than or equal to the pre-investment amount. There is also evidence to suggest that customers tend to prioritize the payment of utility bills, which contributes to low default rates.
If MCE’s program is successful in demonstrating lower default rates than anticipated, banks may become more likely to lend for energy efficiency improvements in the future and the cost of capital for these projects could drop over time.  
 “Our Green Loan program will leverage our relationship with MCE customers improving access to funding for energy efficiency investment, especially for historically underserved markets such as middle income households, multifamily buildings, and small businesses,” said Dawn Weisz, Marin Energy Authority Executive Officer. “The financing tool is another part of our community-oriented energy efficiency program designed to help our customers save money and reduce the amount of energy they use – that’s good for their wallets and the environment.”

For more information about MCE’s energy efficiency program visit www.mceCleanEnergy.com/ee-financing.

About MCE: MCE is a public, not-for-profit electricity provider that gives customers the choice of having 50% to 100% of their electricity supplied from clean, renewable sources such as solar, wind, bioenergy, geothermal, and small hydroelectric at competitive rates. By choosing MCE, customers help support new in-state and local renewable energy generation. For more information about MCE, visit www.mceCleanEnergy.com or call 1 (888) 632-3674.

[1] Introductory rates are subject to change without notice; other conditions apply.