On-Bill Recovery Loan - How to Apply

On-Bill Recovery financing is available for energy efficiency improvements and the installation of solar electric systems. Follow the steps below for your project.

Step 1

Financing Energy Efficiency Improvements

Organizations need a qualified energy assessment 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'a FlexTech program, utility programs, or from qualified energy consultants. All energy assessments must meet NYSERDA’s qualified energy assessment standards [PDF].

Continue with Step 2.

Financing the Purchase and Installation of a Solar Electric System

Once you have selected a solar electric 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 a Project Application. If the Application is approved by NYSERDA then the system may qualify for financing.

The solar electric 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 solar electric system. If the payback is between 10 years and 15 years, then the Participation Loan program is applicable. Your solar electric contractor will be able to assist with this determination.

Once your Project Application is approved, NYSERDA will send you a  project eligibility letter and appropriate documentation, indicating which loan program your solar electric system is eligible for.

If the solar electric 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 solar electric 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

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

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 or documentation to a participating lender of your choice. A list of Participating Lenders can be found on Small Commercial Lenders List [PDF].

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.

Closing Your On-Bill Recovery Loan

During the loan underwriting process, inform your lender of your project's anticipated start and completion dates. Once approved, you may begin work and the lender will inform NYSERDA of the dates provided. A NYSERDA technical consultant will contact you to schedule a post-installation inspection. Once the inspection report has been reviewed, NYSERDA will instruct the lender to close the loan and disburse the loan proceeds.

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.

Who Can My Organization Contact for More Information?

Questions about the program may be directed to 1-866-NYSERDA or by email to gjgnysbnfp@nyserda.org.

*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.