Tennessee’s Energy Efficiency Loan Program is now offering 3 percent financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The reduced interest rate (previously 5%) is available through the end of September and offers a great opportunity for Tennessee businesses to reduced costs, increase productivity and a decrease their environmental impacts.
Financing is offered for up to 100% of the project costs and payback can be structured around the estimated energy cost savings, meaning Tennessee businesses can get energy efficiency retrofits and renewable energy systems for little or no out-of-pocket costs. The financing can also be combined with TVA’s energy efficiency programs and expertise to maximize project benefits even further.
So if your Tennessee business is in need of energy efficiency upgrades or would benefit from a renewable energy system, now is the time to get it done.
The Energy Efficiency Loan Program is a collaborative effort between Pathway Lending, the state of Tennessee, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Pinnacle Financial Partners, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The $50 million program was launched in August 2010 specifically to help Tennessee businesses reduce operating costs and spur economic growth.
The program is what’s known as a “revolving loan program,” meaning that as payments are received on funds already loaned, they are reinvested back in the program to provide additional financing opportunities. Since being launched in 2010, the Energy Efficiency Loan Program has helped dozens of businesses reduce costs and increase productivity.
The Kana Hotel Group in Knoxville, for example, took advantage of the Energy Efficiency Loan Program to finance lighting, laundry and room control upgrades. The total project cost was $66,000 with a first year cost savings of over $30,000. That’s a payback of just over two years for this investment. First-year energy reductions were more than 232,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh), enough electricity to power more than 15 average Tennessee homes for a year.
Manufacturers Industrial Group in Lexington, TN went even further with its energy savings. Its facility received a complete energy audit to review lighting, wiring, air hoses, power outlets, etc. to determine the most cost-effective ways to reduce energy consumption. In the end, Manufacturers Industrial Group completed energy efficiency upgrades totaling $215,000. Those upgrades reduced the facility’s energy consumption by almost 672,000 kWh and produced a cost savings of over $69,000 in the first year. That’s a payback of just over three years and an annual electricity savings equal to more than 44 Tennessee homes.
Taking it even a step further was the Eco Travel Plaza in Crossville. With the goal of becoming the most eco-friendly truck plaza in the country, the company was able to leverage state and federal incentives along with the Energy Efficiency Loan Program to fund energy efficiency retrofits — including lighting and HVAC improvements — and a 47 kilowatt solar array to help offset electricity use at the facility. The project offset more than 94,000 kWh of electricity in its first year — 84,000 kWh generated by the solar array and 11,000 kWh reduction in electricity use through the energy efficiency retrofits. After taking advantage of state and federal incentives, Eco Travel Plaza financed $240,000 through the Energy Efficient Loan Program. With a first-year cost savings of almost $30,000, the project will pay for itself in about eight years and the Eco Travel Center can proudly say that it lives up to its name.
With Pathway Lending’s summer sale on interest rates and TVA, state and federal incentives still available, now is the time for Tennessee businesses to take stock of their energy usage and make the changes that will strengthen their business and help the environment. It’s a win-win and another example of how aggressively pursuing clean energy creates benefits across economic and environmental sectors.