Connecting moderate-income funding, financing, loan servicing key to US energy efficiency success.
Ability to connect lower-income borrowers with energy savings rests squarely on the ability to find affordable, flexible loans and installers able to participate. Fortunately, consumer-friendly financing such as on-bill repayment is growing—along with participating installers.
According to Marketwatch, the timing is vital: “The reality is that many people still have no savings, or very little: Nearly 1 in 5 Americans didn’t save any money in 2021…Bankrate’s July 2021 Emergency Savings survey revealed that a quarter of Americans have no emergency fund at all and just 1 in 6 households report having more savings now than prior to the pandemic.”
Utilities, other agencies use third-party loan servicing to keep track and on top of energy efficiency loan programs.
Third-party loan servicing is extremely important for state agencies and utility companies involved in energy efficiency programs. Especially when higher numbers of consumers are involved, this is an area of critical concern. According to one survey of 150-plus power companies, 102 didn’t know where their loan defaults were. They didn’t have an aggregated portfolio to track and accurately report.
This is one area where third-party servicers such as Concord shine.
With energy efficiency programs and lending, look at the whole-house picture.
Key to the improvement threshold is to look at a structure holistically and lend accordingly. For example, with solar is the roof okay? Leaky windows and duct work run counter to improvement.
Addressing these areas, as well as building in consumer protections providing the best chance to fulfill their loan commitments, have made these programs attractive to investors who see low risk.
Technology itself is helping drive rapid energy-efficiency expansion.
There are devices, technology and programs much more advanced than even a decade ago. When there’s high-load demand in a sector that gets too hot or cold, the grid can turn down temperatures.
There is new heating and cooling technology. A decade ago, solar storage was hardly affordable.
As we shift the grid from coal to picking up power in such other sources as hydrogen fuel cells, nuclear, and water, we are truly decarbonizing our world.
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