BY D. LOWELL ATKINSON
The best approach may rest in the success of on-bill financing, the emergence of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), and the promise of a statewide Energy Efficiency Fund.
On-bill financing allows a homeowner to receive energy efficiency upgrades - such as weatherstripping, duct and insulation repair, and HVAC replacement - without having to pay for the up-front installation costs. The utility company instead finances the upgrades, and the homeowner's utility bill usually drops significantly. Then, a portion of the monthly savings goes back to the homeowner, and the rest goes to reimburse the utility.