Q: What are the limits on the amount of financing on a clean energy project?

Energize NY can finance up to 100% of the project cost, provided that amount does not exceed 10% of the value of the property.

Q: What types of projects are eligible for Energize NY financing?

Clean energy projects that are approved by NYSERDA or a utility program are eligible to apply for financing. These typically include efficient lighting, insulation and air sealing, efficient heating and cooling systems, smart controls, energy storage and combined heat and storage, as well as renewable energy installations such as solar electric, solar thermal, biomass and geothermal. 

Q: What types of buildings are eligible for Energize NY Finance?

Existing buildings that are commercially owned or owned by not-for profits. This includes a range of building types:  commercial, office, hospitality, retail, mixed-use, agricultural facilities, multifamily, light industrial, commercially-owned residential, private schools and colleges, houses of worship and other institutional properties

Q: What are the eligibility requirements?

Eligible properties must be current on their tax payments for the last 3 years, and clear of bankruptcy filings for the last 7 years. Loan-to-value ratio on the property cannot exceed 80%, and the property must not have any involuntary liens, defaults, or judgments applicable to the subject property.

Q: How are projected energy savings calculated?

Energy savings are determined by NYSERDA’s existing practices put in place by the Public Service Commission. After your feasibility study, your service provider will give you a report with estimated savings or energy generation for every recommended improvement.

Q: How is the financing paid off?

The financing is repaid through a line item that is added to the property’s annual tax bill. By paying your annual taxes, you will be making the annual loan payment.

Q: Can properties make partial payments on their financing?

State law prohibits partial payments of property taxes. The total bill must be paid in full, and the Energize NY Finance charge cannot be separated from the rest of the property tax bill. Partial payments of property taxes will trigger delinquency fees and interest charges.

Q: Can properties pay off the Energize NY financing early?

New York State law dictates that taxes cannot be prepaid.

Q: What happens to the financing if the property is sold before the end of the term?

The tax charge remains with the property until the end of the term of the financing. If the building is sold, the new owner takes on the property tax bill, including the finance charge. The new owner also receives the energy savings on the property resulting from the clean energy improvement.

Q: What happens if the property owner defaults on the financing?

A default on the financing will be treated like a default on property taxes, since New York State requires that property taxes be paid in full.  New York State law dictates the procedures for billing and collection of property taxes, including when and how tax bills are sent, what notice is to be given or published concerning the tax, the rate and applicability of penalties and interest, how liens are applied and enforced, what means of delinquent collections are permitted, etc. These statutes can be found by contacting your local municipal tax receiver.

Q: When are funds released to the building owner?

Energize NY disburses funds to the building owner following receipt of a document of completion provided by NYSERDA or a qualifying utility program, or similar documentation proving that the construction has been satisfactorily completed.

Q: How long does it take to have a building assessed and upgraded from start to finish?

Energize NY Finance does not set or alter the time frame of a project. Time frames are project-specific and are established by the service provider(s) and design team doing the project.  In general, time frames range from a few weeks to 24 months and vary depending upon the size of the building, the scope and type of project, and the service provider(s), incentive programs.

Q: How can I pay for the project if funds are not released until the project is completed?

Energize NY does not provide construction phase financing.  Property owners typically obtain construction from a separate capital provider. Energize NY will provide assistance identifying potential lenders for construction financing.

Q: What is the interest rate for Energize NY Finance?

Energize NY offers fixed rates which are determined by the term of the loan and current market conditions. Terms are flexible between 5-20 years, and interest rates range from 4-6.5%.

Q: How does Energize NY financing affect NYSERDA or utility program incentives?

Energize NY works seamlessly with NYSERDA and other utility incentive programs. We finance the cost of a project net of the incentive amount

Q: How does Energize NY determine property value?

Energize NY will value a building according to the assessed value on the municipal tax roll, at no charge to the property owner. If the property owner chooses to pay out for a professional appraisal, Energize NY will accept an appraisal completed within the last year by an individual certified by the Appraisal Institute (MAI).

Q: How is measurement and verification performed after the clean energy project is completed?

Depending on the type of project, NYSERDA will determine the appropriate measurement and verification action.

Q: My municipality is not a member of Energize NY. What can I do?

Municipalities must pass a local law and sign a municipal agreement in order to offer Energize NY Finance to their commercial and not-for-profit property owners. Energize NY has a templated letter requesting that your municipality join Energize [hyperlink], and we encourage you to send this letter to your municipal leaders. Several municipalities have joined Energize NY after hearing that their residents are interested in participating in our programs.

Q: How does the financing affect renewable Federal Investment Tax Credits?

The owner of the renewable energy system will still receive and keep an Investment Tax Credit if the technology is eligible under federal tax guidelines

Q: Are there minimum or maximum financing amounts?

Energize NY can finance a maximum amount equal to 10% of the value of the property. The minimum financing amount is $3,000.

Q: What if the building already has a mortgage?

Energize NY requires any existing mortgage lenders on the property to sign a Lender Consent Form that allows Energize NY Finance to place the finance charge on the property’s tax bill, which has senior lien status to the mortgage. Energize NY has worked with numerous mortgage lenders to obtain consents and can help you engage with your bank to obtain consent.  You can find out more about this here: (Lender Consent Info link.)

Q: Do new construction projects qualify for Energize NY financing?

Solar installations for new construction qualify for financing once the building receives a Certificate of Occupancy. New construction is not eligible for energy efficiency financing.

Q: Are solar power purchase agreements (PPAs) and other lease structures covered?

Yes. Energize NY can finance PPAs and lease arrangements with certain limitations which are outlined in the Energize NY Finance Handbook, which can be found at Commercial.EnergizeNY.org