Services | Clean Energy Financing

On-Bill Financing

On-bill financing (OBF) is a mechanism that enables utilities to provide members and customers with loans for efficiency upgrades that the borrower repays as part of their monthly electricity bill. OBF programs are catching on with utilities around the country because of the numerous benefits they offer.

OBF programs enable utilities to reach customers that would not normally make the investment required to participate in rebate programs. Often, OBF programs finance larger ticket items like heat pumps, whole house upgrades, or solar systems that can dramatically reduce energy bills and improve comfort levels.  OBF programs are a way to bring in outside capital to benefit customers and members—and even the regional economy.  The programs create jobs for contractors and energy auditors as retrofits are completed and free up discretionary income as loans are paid off, providing even more economic benefit.

It’s possible for a scaled up, administratively efficient OBF program to become financially self-sustaining, with all administrative costs covered by fees or interest rate markups paid for by the program participants.  For this reason, OBF programs can be more attractive long-term options than traditional rebate programs.


Collaborative Efficiency can offer support services at any stage of your on-bill financing program:

Program Launch
  • Implementation Planning:  Once the underlying financing is secured a detailed program implementation plan is needed.  This is a crucial step that ensures an efficient, cost-effective, and streamlined program.


  • Launch Preparation:  Before the program is announced marketing materials need to be prepared, contractors recruited, auditors and staff trained, program tracking and communication set-up.


  • Launch Management:  The first few months of a new program are busy and exciting.  Staff and auditors and contractors are all taking their first implementation steps together just as the first group of program participants are forming their opinions of the program.  We can assist in this process and help ensure that the program will have a successful first year.

Program Implementation
  • Implementation Tools:  The best utility programs are supported with a number of software tools, including energy audit software, program tracking software, customer relations management (CRM) software, even software to handle loan origination and processing.  These tools are often too pricey for small utility programs, but CE can help negotiate access to these tools by coordinating a group transaction.


  • Implementation:  Collaborative Efficiency can simply advise, or we can be your turn-key program operator.  As a program implementer we recruit the best local talent, train them and provide the necessary management so that you would be proud to have them represent you.  Many utilities want to staff some key roles themselves but need a contractor to fill in the other roles.

Program Review
  • Impact Analysis:  Some utilities are interested in detailed cost-effectiveness analysis in the pilot stage or in the first year of a program.  These analyses can inform program direction and long-term market potential


  • Program Review: Collaborative Efficiency can conduct a third party review of your on-bill financing program at the end of your program, providing detailed information about the overall impact of the program, lessons learned, and recommended next steps.