Participation Loan - How to Apply

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.

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 financing, small businesses and not-for-profits need to:

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

It is in the best interest for applicants 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 performance based incentives for energy efficiency improvements for non-residential customers:

For more information visit the Existing Facilities Program page.

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

Step 4:
Send your completed and signed Request for Financing Package to NYSERDA for approval by mail or email.

By mail:

By email:

Small Commercial Energy Efficiency Financing
Attention: Kevin Hunt
17 Columbia Circle
Albany, NY 12203-6399

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 NYSERDA's Small Commercial Lenders List [PDF].

Step 6:
The lender will decide whether or not to issue a Participation Loan to an organization based on the lender's underwriting criteria. The lender will add the Project Participation Agreement to the Request for Financing Package, indicating the loan terms it has determined for the Borrower, and submit it to NYSERDA for approval.

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 Participation 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 270 days to complete the installation of the PV system once the loan closes.

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 (270 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.

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.