Energy programs offer business financing

State and federal government agencies have collaborated on two programs that finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

“These new loan programs answer a significant need expressed by Colorado businesses of all sizes – access to capital,” said Colorado Gov. Ritter. “We are helping Colorado companies sustain operations during the economic downturn, improve energy efficiency and thrive in the new energy economy. Most importantly, these loans will help businesses create jobs.”

The Green Colorado Credit Reserve program builds on the Colorado Credit Reserve program. The program will allow businesses to finance up to $100,000 in energy efficiency retrofits within their office or manufacturing facility. Participating lenders will receive a 15 percent loan loss reserve contribution for every loan registered in the program to encourage private-sector lending and generate cost savings for businesses.

To date, the original CCR program has helped 171 Colorado businesses and leveraged nearly $6 million in private-sector lending. Based on the performance of the original CCR program, Green CCR is projected to help more than 160 businesses and generate $7 million in new lending.

The Colorado Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) will administer the program and use $1 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy allocated through federal stimulus legislation to fund loan loss reserve contributions.

The Governor’s Energy Office Revolving Loan Program also finances energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Colorado. The program is supported by a state energy program that’s also funded through federal stimulus legislation

Loans made under the GEO revolving loan fund will top $100,000 and may include:

  • Large-scale retrofits of buildings, ranging from commercial, multi-family, nonprofit, industrial and other applications.
  • Companies whose products effect the renewable energy sector from an economic development basis.
  • Other unique opportunities to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Cris White, chief executive officer and executive director of CHFA, said, “We look forward to getting these resources into the hands of business owners who can use them to help bring jobs and investment into Colorado.”

Bach Composite Colorado in Fort Lupton is the first business to benefit from the GEO revolving loan program. Bach will use its nearly $3.26 million loan to support its manufacturing facility and create jobs. The facility produces components for Vestas, a wind turbine manufacturer with production plants in Brighton and Pueblo. The loan supports the hiring and retention of 150 employees.

“This loan is critical to helping us maintain our cash flow, keep our employees on the payroll and to expand,” said Sabrina McLaughlin, financial controller at the company.