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

On-Bill Financing

On-Bill Financing gives BED's business customers the option to finance electric energy efficiency improvements on their electric bill.

All electrical projects that are now available for rebates and incentives under BED's regular programs will qualify for On-Bill Financing.

Call (802) 865-7300 or e-mail us.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is BED’s On-Bill Financing service (OBF)?

OBF requires no out-of-pocket expense. The loans can be structured so that the monthly energy savings are greater than the monthly loan payment, which creates a monthly positive cash flow.

Customers can choose to pay the loan off more quickly forgoing the monthly positive cashflow. BED has heard from its business customers that they appreciate the technical assistance and cash incentives from BED to make efficiency improvement but the up-front capital is not always available to move forward with the project. OBF helps to get over this hurdle.

The monthly loan repayments stay with BED to be lent out repeatedly creating a revolving loan fund that is dedicated to electric energy efficiency improvements for Burlington businesses for years to come. 

What kinds of energy efficiency projects qualify?

Electric efficiency upgrades only (any efficiency project that now qualifies for a BED incentive is eligible). Typical projects include: lighting, HVAC systems, pump/motors, refrigeration and controls. 

Who is eligible to participate?

BED commercial business customers interested in investing in electrical energy efficiency upgrades. 

Is there a maximum loan amount?

Yes, $2,500 loan minimum and $50,000 loan maximum per building. 

What are the loan terms?

No money down.  12-72 month fixed-rate loans. 75% of the Wall Street Journal's prime published rate or a maximum of 4%.

Are there normal loan underwriting and security requirements?

Yes. Standard loan underwriting is required to determine eligibility along with property liens for owneroccupied projects, UCC 1 Forms and/or personal guarantees for leased building projects. BED will be contracting with a lending institution to perform the underwriting service. The “On-Bill Financing” Program for Commercial Customers. 

Can I participate in OBF if I lease my business space?

Yes. A majority of Burlington’s businesses lease their spaces. The OBF Loan Agreement that you will need to sign states that you have the building owner’s permission to install the energy efficient system(s) and that your lease is longer than the OBF loan re-payment term that you have agreed to. 

How will BED assist my project?

BED will provide an on-site energy assessment leading to a detailed energy action plan including savings calculations, energy monitoring (pre- and post-sub-metering of key equipment for accuracy if needed), return on investment, and a cost/benefit analysis. BED will provide proposals for incentives and financing. BED staff will also provide assistance to you and your contractor in completing the OBF loan documents. There is no additional charge for these services beyond the energy efficiency charge that you already pay via the monthly electric bill.

The first step is for the customer, or their contractor, to contact BED’s Commercial Energy Service Specialists at 865-7338 to discuss the project. 

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, as long as the contractor is normally in the business of installing the energy efficiency system(s) involved in the project. Contractor must agree to provide BED and the business owner with a formal proposal that separately lists costs of major materials by model number and the labor and permit costs. The contractor shall be deemed qualified for the scope of work proposed by the City’s Building Trades Inspection Division.

Contractor must also agree to sign a “Contractor’s OBF Program Installation Agreement,” which has insurance requirements. Contractor will be responsible for securing permits and coordinating inspections with the City’s Building Trades Inspection Division as needed.

Change-orders 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 encouraged to get more than one contractor proposal. 

How do contractors get paid?

The business owner will receive a two-party check from BED made payable to the business owner and the contractor in full payment for the performance of work that was agreed upon when signing the “Contractor’s OBF Program Installation Agreement” and the “Business Owner’s OBF Loan Agreement.” The business owner is responsible for signing the check over to the contractor. 

Who should contractors contact with any on-going OBF project questions?

The contractors should contact the BED Commercial Energy Services Specialist who started the project with the contractor. Customers will be available to answer any questions and will also be responsible for conducting the final inspection and ensuring that the payment check is processed.

Contractors will be responsible for securing permits and coordinating inspections with the City’s Building Inspection Division. 

Who services my OBF loan should I have questions?

The BED Commercial Energy Services Specialist who started the project with the customer and their contractor will be available to answer any questions including providing the current balance and pay-off amounts. 

How do I get more information about OBF?

For more information about OBF and BED’s energy efficiency services, please feel free to call 802- 865-7338. 

Anything else to know about OBF?

Just that BED is very pleased to offer this service to our business customers. We believe OBF is a valuable tool to help with your bottom line. It also will help BED meet aggressive annual energy efficiency savings targets, which helps to stabilize rates for all customers.

Efficiency is the least expensive and cleanest means to meet the energy needs of our customers. Also, a majority of energy efficiency money stays local and re-circulates in the greater Burlington economy – thus strengthening other businesses in the local economy.

What is the PACE program?

Act 45, passed by the Vermont State Legislature, allows Vermont communities to establish "property assessed clean energy” assessment districts to make it easier for residential building owners to invest in eligible energy efficiency and/or renewable energy projects in owner-occupied (1 to 4 unit) existing homes. Since Burlington voters approved the PACE district in 2010, eligible Burlington residential (owner-occupied) property owners are now able to access funding for eligible energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and then pay back the cost as a regular municipal assessment on their monthly BED electric bill. What makes PACE unique is that the law allows for the repayment (excluding any past due balances) to transfer to the new property owner at the time of sale if the buyer agrees. PACE financing can also be paid off in full at any time.

For more information on the PACE program and how to apply, visit Efficiency Vermont.