Saving Energy: Public Institutions
ConserFund is the SCEO low-cost revolving loan program for energy-efficiency improvements in state agencies, public colleges or universities, school districts, local governments, and private nonprofit organizations. The links below provide more information about the ConserFund program.
Benefits of ConserFund
- Annual interest rate is a fixed rate set below the Wall Street Journal prime rate (currently equal to 2% through June 2012).
- Loans are for 100 percent of eligible project costs.
- Borrowers may finance projects from $25,000 up to $500,000 per fiscal year.
- Financing agreements have a maximum term of ten years.
- Free preliminary energy audits and project planning assistance are offered through the Rebuild South Carolina Program.
- Payments can be made monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.
- Deferred payments are available based on the next unbudgeted fiscal year after the loan commitment date, not to exceed 18 months.
- The Fund is focused on supporting the implementation of energy-efficiency improvements that provide long-term cost reductions.
Benefits of ConserFund
- Agencies qualify as partners in Rebuild South Carolina.
- Through the Rebuild South Carolina partnership, agencies receive free preliminary energy audits.
- Marketing teams visit agencies with preliminary audit results to discuss options for saving energy and money.
- ConserFund provides financing opportunities to state agencies and other public building owners.
- Priority is given to energy conservation projects with fast energy-savings paybacks.
- Repayments are generally calculated so that projected energy savings cover loan payments.
Eligible Energy Savings Project Measures
A list of eligible energy savings projects include:
- Replacement or modification of lighting systems;
- Replacement or modifications of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems;
- Building envelope modifications (doors, windows, insulation, roofs, etc.);
- Automated or computerized energy-control systems;
- Cogeneration systems that produce electricity and process steam heat for use primarily within a building or complex of buildings;
- Other energy conservation measures that provide long-term energy cost savings.
For most eligible energy conservation measures, financing shall only be for retrofits of existing buildings. However, ConserFund may be used to:
- Finance energy recovery systems;
- Ground source heat pumps;
- Biomass, solar, and other alternative/renewable energy systems in both new construction facilities and existing facilities.
The ConserFund Application Process
SCEO provides a simple application
by mail, fax, or e-mail upon request. Implementation of energy projects must begin within six months of loan closing.
Staff Review Committee: SCEO accepts the original application, along with a detailed description of the project and financial statements. SCEO staff conducts a technical and financial review of the proposed project to determine if it meets program criteria and saves sufficient energy. Applications are referred to the Loan Approval Committee for consideration.
Loan Approval Committee: The Loan Approval Committee evaluates qualified loans at the end of each quarter. Committee members prioritize approvals based on projected energy savings paybacks. The total project cost divided by the annual energy savings must be eight years or less.
Committee Recommendations: The Loan Approval Committee submits its recommendations to the SCEO Director for approval. If approved, the application is forwarded to the Director of the Division of Insurance and Grant Services for final approval.