On-Bill Recovery Loan - How to Apply

How Do Organizations Apply to the Financing Program?

Step 1

Financing Energy Efficiency Improvements

Organizations need a qualified energy assessment from a NYSERDA program, a utility program, or a qualified energy consultant to apply for financing.

Qualified energy assessments identify upgrades that can help reduce energy costs.

Small businesses and not-for-profits can get qualified energy assessments through NYSERDA programs, utility programs, or from qualified energy consultants. All energy assessments must meet NYSERDA’s qualified energy assessment standards [PDF].

Small businesses and not-for-profits can get free energy assessments from NYSERDA's Small Commercial Energy Assessments. Visit Small Commercial Energy Assessments for more information.

Financing the Purchase and Installation of a PV System

Once you have selected a PV contractor, the contractor will review your building for orientation and shading. He or she will then review with you the findings, and show you the project cost and any incentives that may be available. With your approval, the contractor will submit to NYSERDA an Application Package along with a Request for Financing Package. If the PV Application is approved by NYSERDA then it may qualify for financing.

The PV system payback period, after accounting for all incentives, will ultimately determine which financing vehicle is applicable. If the payback period is 10 years or less, then the On-Bill Recovery Loan program and the Participation Loan program is available to finance your PV system. If the payback is between 10 years and 15 years, then the Participation Loan program is applicable. Your PV contractor will be able to assist with this determination.

Once your PV Application is approved, NYSERDA will send you a NYSERDA-approved Request for Financing Package, indicating which loan program your PV system is eligible for.

If the PV system is eligible for On-Bill Recovery Loan financing, go to Step 5. If the system is eligible for the Participation Loan program visit the Participation Loan - How to Apply page.

If, after accounting for all incentives, the PV system has a payback period of 15 years or less, then the system qualifies for Participation Loan financing, and you will be sent a NYSERDA-approved Request for Financing Package. 

Continue with Step 5.

Step 2:
Before applying for an On-Bill Recovery loan, small businesses and not-for-profits need to:

  • Decide which assessments recommendations to implement
  • Identify any available NYSERDA or utility incentives
  • Get contractor quotes on the cost of doing the work

It is in the applicant's best interest to apply for any NYSERDA, utility, and other incentives that may be available. The total cost of the project less any available incentives will be eligible for financing.

NYSERDA's Existing Facilities Program offers incentives for energy efficiency improvements for non-residential customers. Some technologies are prequalified for incentives by NYSERDA. These include:

Visit the Existing Facilities Program page for more information.

Step 3:
To apply small businesses and not-for-profits must complete the Request for Financing Package which includes:

  • The Request for Financing Form [PDF]
    • I recognize that approval of this Request for Financing Package by NYSERDA does not guarantee I will receive a loan under the Program for my energy efficiency project.
    • I understand that I may choose to initiate project planning and development related to my energy efficiency project, (e.g., design and specification, contract documents and bids, ordering equipment, scheduling work, )prior to a loan closing. However to do so is completely at my own risk and NYSERDA shall not be held liable for any costs or expenses incurred.
    • I understand that installation of my energy efficiency project prior to loan closing may disqualify me from receiving the benefits of the loan from NYSERDA and the Program, i.e., the reduced interest rate associated with the Participation loan, and eligibility to receive the On-Bill Recovery Loan in its entirety. Further I understand that the Lender associated with the Participation Loan may choose to increase the market rate of the loan or deny the loan in its entirety.
  • The Approved Energy Efficiency Measures Worksheet [PDF]
    • Visit our instructions page for instructions for completing the Approved Energy Efficiency Measures Worksheet.
  • A copy of any incentive applications (if applicable)
  • A copy of contractor quotes and technical cut sheets
  • A copy of the qualified energy assessment

Step 4:
Organizations send completed and signed Request for Financing Packages to NYSERDA by mail or email.

By mail:

By email:

Small Commercial Energy Efficiency Financing
Attention: Kevin Hunt
17 Columbia Circle
Albany, NY12203-6399

NYSERDA will notify the customer if the Request for Financing Package is approved or if additional information is required.

Organizations may choose to initiate project planning and development related to their energy efficiency project (e.g., design and specification, contract documents and bids, ordering equipment, scheduling work) prior to their loan closing. However, they do so at their own risk. Organizations may begin installation of their energy efficiency projects only after they close on the loan with their lender. Organizations that install any portion of their energy efficiency project prior to loan closing may be disqualified from the program.

Step 5:
To apply for your loan, take your NYSERDA-approved Request for Financing Package to a participating lender of your choice. A list of Participating Lenders can be found on Small Commercial Lenders List [PDF].

If your lender is not on the list, ask them to sign and complete the Loan Originator Agreement [PDF] and send it to NYSERDA.

The following institutions are eligible to participate in the financing program, as long as they are regulated by Federal or State law to operate in New York State:

  • Community Development Financial Institutions
  • Credit unions insured by the National Credit Union Association
  • Commercial banks
  • Trust companies
  • Savings banks
  • Savings and loan associations
  • Mortgage Lenders

Step 6:
The lender will evaluate whether or not to issue a NYSERDA On Bill Recovery Loan to a borrower based on NYSERDA’s underwriting criteria. Criteria include but are not limited to:

  • Organization in existence at least two years.
  • Credit score of 650 or higher.
  • No bankruptcies within the last 5 years.
  • No current judgments or liens in excess of $5,000
  • Debt service coverage ratio > 1.2

*These criteria are subject to change.

Organizations that install any portion of their energy efficiency project prior to loan closing may be disqualified from the program.

What Happens After the Lender Issues the On-Bill Recovery Loan to My Organization?

For financing energy efficiency improvements, you have 90 days to complete the energy efficiency project after the lender closes the loan.

For financing the purchase and installation of a PV system, you have 120 days to complete the installation of the PV system once the loan closes.

Within 5 days of closing, a Technical Consultant will contact you to schedule a post-installation inspection, which will be scheduled for within 2 weeks following the 90 days of loan closing (120 days for PV installations). The Technical Consultant will remind you of the inspection prior to visiting your site. The inspection is to verify that the project was installed as approved.

When Will My Organization Need to Start Making Loan Payments?

Upon notification from NYSERDA that the energy efficiency improvements have been implemented, your utility service provider will place an On Bill Recovery charge on your monthly utility bill. This charge will appear on your bill every month until the NYSERDA On Bill Recovery Loan is repaid.

Will Someone Verify That the Project was Completed as Planned?

NYSERDA reserves the right to make post-installation visits to ensure the qualified energy efficiency services have been installed consistent with the approved Request for Financing Package.

Is Someone Available to Help my Organization Through the Process?

A project expeditor may contact your organization to offer assistance in the review of the recommendations contained in the qualified energy assessment, obtaining contractor quotes, identifying incentive opportunities, and completing the application process.

Expeditor services are optional and free of charge to eligible small business and not-for-profit customers.

Who Can My Organization Contact for More Information?

Questions about the program may be directed to 1-866-NYSERDA or by email to

*Late, incomplete, or unsigned Requests for Financing will be returned. Requests for Financing will not be accepted at any other NYSERDA location other than the address identified on the forms.

Last Updated: 09/24/2014