Companies aided by energy loans

Companies aided by energy loans

Posted: Monday, September 6, 2010 9:22 am

The Messenger 09.06.10
NASHVILLE — Gov. Phil Bredesen and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber have announced the launch of a new $50 million Energy Efficiency Loan Program to help Tennessee companies finance investments in energy efficient technology, energy retrofits and renewable energy systems.
This innovative economic development program will be administered by Pathway Lending and will offer access to below-market rate loans, financing up to 100 percent of improvements aimed at reducing energy consumption, lowering overall costs and improving profitability.
“Our goal is to make Tennessee a true leader in sustainability and this new Energy Efficiency Loan Program will be a substantial step in that direction,” Bredesen said. “By providing access to this type of financing, we are making Tennessee businesses more competitive and that means more jobs for Tennesseans.”
Pathway plans to offer below-market rate loans at 5 percent with terms extending to 10 years. Loans can finance up to 100 percent of costs on projects like building retrofits, equipment replacements or upgrades, lighting and renewable generation projects.
The loans can be repaid with the energy costs savings derived from each project. The program is the result of a collaborative effort between the State of Tennessee, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Eco-nomic Development Administra-tion, Pathway Lending, Pinnacle Financial Partners and the Tennessee Valley Authority.
“Controlling energy costs is a key business strategy for all Tennessee companies,” Kisber said. “Helping those companies operate ‘leaner’ and ‘greener’ may help some businesses considering these types of investments to move forward.”
“Energy costs continue to rise while operating budgets continue to shrink so now more than ever it is critical for businesses in our communities to have access to low-cost energy efficiency financing,” said Clint Gwin, president of Pathway Lending. “This loan fund will help businesses achieve long-term energy solutions by reducing operating costs and making their Tennessee facilities more productive and competitive.”
The Energy Efficiency Loan Program is available to any business seeking to reduce energy consumption in their Tennessee facilities through building retrofits and upgrades, equipment replacement purchases or other energy efficiency or renewable energy projects.  Businesses may apply online at www.pathwaylending.org, with first-round applications due by Nov. 1.
To be eligible for a loan, a business must complete an energy audit, assessment or vendor proposal with detailed project energy savings. Once verified, these energy savings determine the amount and term of the loan and the applicant’s ability to repay the loan with those savings.
Free informational work-shops will be hosted by Pathway Lending staff throughout the state in September. A schedule of these events is available at www.pathwaylending.org.
“Pinnacle is proud to be the private sector partner in this collaboration,” said Hugh Queener, chief administrative officer at Pinnacle Financial Partners. “This program will make it easier for Tennessee businesses to undertake comprehensive energy efficiency projects by providing the financing necessary. These projects will not only reduce energy costs for businesses over the long-term, but have a positive impact on our environment.”
The most unique feature is the Shared Savings Option, which allows businesses to retain up to 50 percent of their monthly energy savings and repay the loan with the remaining percentage.
“This new capital resource available for businesses in Tennessee is the perfect complement for TVA’s energy efficiency and demand response efforts,” said Ken Breeden, TVA executive vice president of customer relations.
“Along with technical assistance and cash incentives, we know that many companies also need a low-interest financing option to move energy efficiency projects from planning to reality. Helping these businesses and industries become more energy efficient will increase their competitiveness and strengthen Tennessee’s economy.”
To learn more, visit online at www.pathwaylending.org or call (615) 425-7171.

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