Financing options for core energy improvements remain unfocused and fragmented
Efficient access to affordable, longer term financing remains a barrier to the installation of core energy improvements by homeowners and businesses. Recent innovations in energy financing have been largely focused on high profile, big ticket items like solar which account for a $25 billion annual market. But current financing options for the $300 billion energy upgrade market have not measurably increased uptake for higher efficiency improvements. Specifically:
- Large National Banks and Finance Companies offer sophisticated point of purchase programs, but are generally focused on “promotional” finance with high costs and dealer fees. They rely on generic, large call centers to provide customer service and regard energy improvements as just “another thing” to finance like hot tubs and ATVs. There is no ability to integrate with a utility or other energy programs or provide specific energy industry know-how.
- “Fin Tech” Lenders need massive volume to feed venture capital and private equity investors returns, requiring them to focus on large, high cost improvements like solar. Access to loan capital is based on Wall Street availability and price. While some fin-tech lenders offer financing for basic energy improvements it is essentially treated as an “add-on” and not a core product.
- Local Banks and Lenders commonly focus on home equity loans or financing that require a longer time to process. They are not generally focused on point of purchase financing, contractor network development or energy specific programs.
- Energy/Utility Programs, typically administered by specialty lenders, offer appealing rates, but struggle to find sustainable sources of loan capital. They are energy-specific, but often “over-designed” requiring too much information and work by a contractor and consumer to spur rapid uptake.
The NEIF Solutions: NEIF offers improved financing options for homeowners, businesses and the contractors and programs that install core energy improvements
- National Credit Standards promote consistent program design and loan performance with credit available to the broadest possible using historical baseline standards with 15 year proven performance and loan loss of less than 1% annually
- National improvement standards for single-measure and enhanced energy improvements
- Contractor and Sponsor standards promote consistent and qualified installations, lending compliance, borrower protections and reinforcing program integrity
- Efficient and affordable financing programs focused on core energy improvements based on past successes
- Contractor-driven energy lending experience with efficient technology and program support
- Instant consumer loan approvals and commercial finance estimates
- Contractor portal and point of purchase sales tools
- Paperless process
- Rapid funding
- Full lending compliance
- Complete servicing system
- Full contractor and sponsor reporting
- State-of-the-art contractor search and lead generation features
- $2,500 to $25,000 unsecured larger amounts for highly qualified borrowers
- Up to 12 year term
- Fixed rate, no pre-payment penalty
- Zero percent and other options available
- Enhanced rates and terms available where NEIF works with our program partners (utilities, green banks and others)
Commercial Financing through HBC Energy Capital, a division of NEIF
- $2,500 to multi-million dollar projects
- Commercial leases, tax exempt leases, service agreements, equipment finance agreements and PACE products available
- Contractor buy-down and co-funding options available
- Terms vary from 2-15 years, with options for 20 year terms in some cases
- Enhanced rates and terms where NEIF works with program partners
NEIF differentiates itself by leveraging relationships, experience and technology, focusing on efficient and affordable access to capital for core energy efficiency improvements
A better, sustainable source of loan capital Aggregation of community bank, credit union and foundation/socially responsible investor capital provides access to the lowest cost, most sustainable and most diverse source of funding
Alliances and integration with state green banks, utilities & others Providing access to deal flow, to credibility and to subsidy funds that reduce loan rates, enhance marketing and increase contractor usage
State of the art contractor, borrower and sponsor technology Superior, energy-focused, origination, contractor support and servicing technology enhances contractor close rates, consumer uptake of energy improvements and loan payment performance
- Extensive experience in best practices in contractor, distributor, manufacturer and program support The NEIF team understands the nuances of energy efficiency marketing and lending and how to build strong contractor and sponsor relationships that use financing to drive sales of energy efficiency with effective sales training and integrated marketing
- High focus on risk management and lending compliance Utmost focus on an engaged and financially and ethically stable contractor network. Deep consumer lending experience with systems and documents that are fully compliant and current. Origination and servicing comply with all regulations & bank partner expectation
NEIF is led by a team of experts who have set the standards for energy efficiency lending
Peter Krajsa, Co-Chair and Founder is a recognized innovator in energy efficiency finance for over two decades. Peter spear-headed the creation of a number of major national energy finance programs as CEO of AFC First Financial Corporation, a specialty residential energy efficiency lender, operating programs nationally with a network of over 6,000 participating contractors. Most recently, he headed national channel business development for the innovative energy lender, Renew Financial, which acquired AFC First in 2015, as part of its national expansion plans.
As CEO of AFC First, a company founded by his parents in 1947, Peter led the development of the company’s national EnergyLoan® program as one of Fannie Mae's approved lenders; created the Keystone Home Energy Loan Program in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Treasury Department, DEP and PHFA, which laid the foundation for WHEEL, (Warehouse for Energy Efficiency Loans) , the world’s first investment grade rated securitization of a portfolio of unsecured energy loans; the Connecticut Solar Leasing program, the nation's first state sponsored solar leasing program and many other state, utility and manufacturer financing program including on-bill financing programs in Connecticut and Illinois. After running AFC with his brother, primarily as a mortgage banker and direct lender, Peter moved the company exclusively into energy efficiency lending in 1999. Under his leadership, AFC First closed over $500 million in energy efficiency loans, was named by the U.S. DOE as the nation’s first private Home Performance with ENERGY STAR sponsor, selected as one of five national pilot lenders for the HUD PowerSaver program, received the Alliance to Save Energy Andromeda Award and established the Green Energy Training Academy supported by the Rockefeller Foundation.
He holds a B.S. Economics from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Matthew Brown, Co-Chair and Founder has worked in the energy finance and policy field for more than 20 years, beginning his work with the accounting and consulting firm of KPMG in its New York City office. He subsequently worked with an environmental, energy and finance consulting firm conducting research on viability of clean coal companies in the late 1980s. He went on to work with the City of New York, where he was in charge of establishing public-private partnerships for the financing of natural gas fueling stations, among other related activities.
In 1994 he moved to Denver, Colorado, where he headed the National Conference of State Legislatures energy program for 11 years. In this role, he directed a program that provided non-partisan advice on a wide variety of state clean energy policies, including renewable energy standards, tax policy, and establishment of public benefit funds, among numerous other roles. During this time, he testified in more than 35 state legislatures, as well as in front of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In 2005, Matthew moved to Paris, France in order to begin consulting work with the International Energy Agency, focusing in particular on renewable energy and energy efficiency. Upon his return to Colorado, Matthew built upon his background in a combination of clean energy policy and finance to develop an extensive practice that involves assisting state governments, utilities, lenders, the U.S. Department of Energy, national associations and others in the area of clean energy finance.
Matthew has led HB&C’s engagement with the four California investor owned utilities to develop and implement energy efficiency financing programs as well as a similar engagement to develop a third party financing program with utility bill collections in for the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. Additionally, he leads the firm’s engagement with Xcel Energy advising on financing. Matthew has worked extensively with a number of financial institutions to advise on deployment of capital through loans and leases for clean energy in the western United States as well as nationally. Finally, Matthew possesses unique expertise in advising governments that are looking to support financing program development. Matthew has developed multiple public-private partnerships between state governments and private capital providers and lenders.
Matthew graduated from Brown University in 1986 with a BA, and continued on to New York University, where he received an MBA.
Laura Nelson, Chief Operating Officer has been involved in financial management, operational controls, process improvement and regulatory and investor compliance for over fifteen years. Most recently she was Vice President, Financial Operations for Renew Financial where she was engaged in all financial aspects of unsecured and PACE lending, and prior to Renew’s acquisition of AFC First in 2015, she served as AFC’s Chief Financial Officer. As AFC’s CFO she oversaw all investor reporting to states, utilities and financial institutions as well as managing systems, IT, licensing, accounting and compliance. She was previously Vice President, Corporate Actions Department at Deutsche Bank and worked in mutual fund accounting at State Street. She holds an MBA from Boston College and a BSBA from Bucknell University.
Tessa Shin, Vice President – Lending and Programs has helped develop and manage some of the nation’s most innovative energy financing programs including Keystone HELP and on-bill programs in Connecticut and Illinois. Most recently she was Director of Unsecured Lending for Renew Financial and prior to Renew’s acquisition of AFC First she was AFC’s Director of Lending and Programs where she managed policies and procedures for AFC's energy efficiency lending programs as well as AFC First’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR and Power Savers programs. She has earned her BPI Building Analyst designation, and holds a B.S. from Cedar Crest College.
Jeremy Epstein, Vice President – Commercial Finance has been a Senior Associate with HB&C where he developed and managed the integration of HBC Energy Capital’s commercial financing services with utility, contractor and government-based clients. Previously Jeremy worked in the public sector where he designed and managed the contractor friendly Elevations Energy Loan in Boulder and Denver Counties. He brings a strong background and formal training in policy, marketing, GHG accounting, and climate action planning. He holds a BA in environmental policy and anthropology from the University of Colorado and an MA in environmental policy with a focus on climate policy and economics from the Evergreen State College.
Heather Braithwaite, Vice President – Strategy and Development has been a Senior Associate with Harcourt Brown and Carey and project manager for HBC Energy Capital where she has worked across all sectors, including residential, commercial and government facilities. Heather has significant experience in developing on-bill finance programs and assessing statewide energy efficiency financing landscapes to enhance current or create new offerings. Heather holds a degree in Environmental Studies with a focus in sustainability from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a MBA from Pinchot University, Seattle WA that focuses on sustainable systems.
Randy Bak, Business Development Director is an experienced contractor and channel development specialist. Most recently he was an award-winning sales leader for the innovative energy lender Renew Financial. Prior to that Randy had extensive experience in building sucessful regional and national dealer-driven sales teams for Toshiba and other technology companies. He holds a BA from the College of New Jersey.