Customer Service: (802) 865-7300   Monday-Friday 8am-5pm
Commercial Loans

Commercial Efficiency & Ventilation 0% Loan Program

Small and medium sized businesses in Burlington may apply for 0% financing loans to be used for renovations required to reopen safely according to public health guidelines.

What kinds of projects qualify for the COVID-19 On Bill Financing (OBF) Loan Program?

  • Building Ventilation Upgrades
    To reopen safely, many businesses will need to comply with COVID-19 local/state public health guidelines as well as ASHRAE ventilation standards (62.1 and 62.2). This work can include:
    • Upgrades to existing HVAC equipment and control systems to make them more effective & efficient
    • Expansion to the duct-work distribution system 
    • Supplementary humidification or dehumidification equipment
    • If needed, professional engineering services to design, specify, or otherwise support the HVAC measures funded by the COVID-19 OBF program
  • Critical Business Equipment Failure Replacement
    Funds to replace, or repair, a key piece of equipment should it fail or be near the end of its usable life, which may impact the ability to stay open or to be as productive or profitable. This work can include:
    • Efficient restaurant refrigeration, cooking, and HVAC equipment
    • Efficient retail lighting & HVAC equipment
    • Energy Efficient office lighting & HVAC equipment
    • If needed, professional engineering services to design, specify, or otherwise support the measures funded by the COVID-19 OBF program
  • Building Façade Alterations
    • Includes installing a take-out service window in an existing door, non-operable window space or other area

Who is eligible to participate? 

  • BED small and medium sized business customers (with active BED electric accounts) who meet the loan eligibility criteria

What are the loan terms?

  • 0% fixed-rate loans, 12-84 months, no money down 
  • Repayment on the monthly electric bill 
  • $2,500 loan minimum and $50,000 loan maximum per building 

What are the loan eligibility requirements?

  • A record of timely electric bill payments for 12 to 36 months in advance of the loan closing will be required
  • If building is owner occupied, then permission to place a lien on the property for the amount of the loan
  • If building space is leased, and if needed, written permission from building owner to make improvements
  • Disclosure of back taxes both Federal, State, and local. And repayment terms if applicable
  • Disclosure of back payments to the City Water Department.  And repayment terms if applicable
  • Acknowledgment of lien or personal guarantees placement
  • For food and beverage customers, reporting of loss/suspension of liquor or entertainment license

Can I participate in the COVID-19 OBF loan program if I lease my business space?

  • Yes.  A majority of Burlington’s businesses lease their spaces.  The COVID-19 OBF Loan Agreement, that you will need to sign, requires written permission from the building owner to make the improvements.
  • Also, the Loan Agreement requires you to certify that your lease is longer than the loan re-payment term to which you have agreed.

What if I close my BED account before paying off the OBF loan?

  • The loan balance will be due in full when you close your BED account.

Can any contractor perform the energy efficiency work?

  • Yes. The contractor you select must be in the normal business of performing the work that will be outlined in the Scope-of-Work document (SOW) that is made part of the Loan Agreement.
  • Contractors must agree to provide BED, and the business owner, with a formal SOW proposal that separately lists costs of major materials, model numbers of equipment and labor and City permit costs.
  • Contractors are responsible for obtaining all necessary City permits.
  • Change-orders, to the initial SOW document, that impact the price and/or the energy performance of the project are only allowed with prior approval from BED and business owner. 
  • Business owners are strongly encouraged to get more than one contractor proposal.

How do I get more information about COVID-19 On Bill Financing?

PLEASE NOTE: BED staff cannot provide you with HVAC engineering design services to solve COVID or other ventilation compliance requirements.  There are several local HVAC and Engineering businesses that offer design services.  The cost for these services can be included in your BED loan.  BED can help you with more energy efficient HVAC options, with technical review assistance and possible financial incentives, for equipment and control solutions recommended by your Engineers or contractors.