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Small Business Financing Program

Program Name: Small Business Financing Program
Program Sponsor: NYSERDA
Program Type:          Financing
Technology:               Energy Efficiency/ Demand Response; Alternative Energy Generation/ Renewables
Fuel:               Fuel Neutral
Eligibility:                        Small businesses with 100 employees or less and not-for-profit organizations that own, lease or manage their building or lease space within a building
Cost:  Application Based


NYSERDA’s Small Business Financing program offers small businesses, including multifamily building owners and not-for-profit organizations, two loan options for financing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects: Participation Loan and On-Bill Recovery Loan.


Borrower Eligibility. Both loans are available to small businesses with 100 employees or less and not-for-profit organizations that own, lease, or manage their building or lease space within a building and have a release from the building owner to apply for financing through the program. Multifamily building owners are also eligible for the Participation Loan. To qualify for the On-Bill Recovery Loan, the borrower must be a named utility customer of Con Edison and meet NYSERDA’s loan underwriting standards.

Project Eligibility. Eligible projects include:

  • Renewable Energy Projects: The purchase and installation of NYSERDA-approved PV or NY Clean Heat NY projects are eligible for Participation Loan financing with payback periods of ≤ 15 years after incentives and On-Bill Recovery Loan financing with payback periods of ≤ 10 years after incentives.
  • PV Projects: The purchase and installation of PV projects. Contractors submit all documentation for review and approval).
  • Air Source or Ground Source Projects: Installation of an air source or ground source heat pump. Systems ≥ than 300,000 BTUs/hour require utility approval. Contractors submit all documentation for review and approval.
  • Energy Efficiency Projects: Energy Efficiency improvements identified on qualified energy assessments will be considered for both loans. The estimated amount of money a customer can expect to save on energy as the result of implementing the project must be sufficient to pay off the upfront cost of implementing the project within ≤ 15 years for the Participation Loan and < 10 years for the On-Bill Recovery Loan. For On-Bill Recovery, estimated annual energy savings must be greater than estimated annual loan payments. Eligible services include Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC); Building Envelope; Lighting; Domestic or Service Hot Water; Controls; Business Processes (Kitchens, Laundries, Air Compression etc.)

How the Program Works

Participation Loan. NYSERDA partners with a lender of the borrower’s choice on a loan in which NYSERDA finances 50% of the loan principal, up to $50,000, at 2% interest and the lender finances the remaining loan principle at market rate. The loan term cannot exceed 10 years and lending criteria varies by lender. The lender issues the loan to the borrower and the borrower makes monthly loan payments to the lender. The lender then pays NYSERDA back.

On-Bill Recovery Loan. The Borrower works with Slipstream, Inc. to secure a NYSERDA loan of up to $50,000 at 2% interest. NYSERDA establishes a minimum loan term, and the lender determines a loan term ≥ than the NYSERDA-approved minimum but ≤ 10 years. Lenders must follow NYSERDA’s underwriting criteria, and the borrower repays NYSERDA through a charge on their monthly utility bill. Note: Organizations that install any portion of their energy efficiency project prior to loan closing may be disqualified.

How to Apply

Both Loans. The following preliminary steps must occur to obtain approval from NYSERDA:

First, an eligible business identifies the type of improvement (energy efficiency, PV installation, and/or Heat Pump installation), decides which assessments recommendations to implement, identifies available NYSERDA or utility incentives, and obtains contractor quotes on the cost of the work. Second, the small businesses and not-for-profit complete a Request for Financing Package, which includes: the Request for Financing Form; the Approved Energy Efficiency Measures Worksheet, a copy of contractor quotes and technical cut sheets, and a copy of the qualified energy assessment. Third, the business mails or emails the completed, signed Request for Financing Package to NYSERDA:

By Email:

By Mail: Small Commercial Energy Efficiency Financing, NYSERDA, Attention: Kevin Hunt, 17 Columbia Circle, Albany, NY 12203

Participation Loan. After approval from NYSERDA, borrowers may submit their NYSERDA-approved Financing Package or NYSERDA-issued eligibility letter to a participating lender of their choice. The lender will decide whether to issue a Participation Loan to an organization based on the lender’s underwriting criteria. The lender will then submit a Project Participation Agreement indicating the loan terms it has determined for the borrower, and submit it to NYSERDA for approval. Additional information can be found here.

On-Bill Recovery Loan. Once NYSERDA approves the Financing Package, the applicant works with Slipstream, Inc. to secure the loan, which is evaluated under the following criteria:

  • Business owner(s) with a min. 20% ownership must personally guarantee all small business loans.
  • Guarantor’s min. credit score must be 660, with a debt-to-income ratio of 50% or less.
  • Guarantor has no bankruptcy, foreclosure or repossession in the past 7 years.
  • Minimum 1 year in business
  • Minimum Financial Stability Risk score of 660
  • No Known Judgments or Tax Liens
  • No Tradelines more than 30 days beyond terms 5

Contact Information

Questions about the program may be directed to 1-866-NYSERDA or by email to

Entities interested in On-Bill Recovery Loans may call NYSERDA at (518) 862-1090, ext. 3259.