GoGreen Business Energy Financing
Helping small businesses save energy and money
If you have any questions about the California Hub for Energy Efficiency Financing pilot programs, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (916) 651-8157.
Energy Efficiency Leases, Loans and Service Agreements
The GoGreen Business Energy Financing program (GoGreen Business, formerly the Small Business Financing program) helps California’s small businesses and nonprofits access attractive financing for energy efficiency retrofits. Like other CHEEF programs, GoGreen Business offers participating finance companies access to a loss reserve fund that can cover up to 90% of losses on outstanding principal in the event of borrower default. In exchange for this credit enhancement, finance companies are able to offer improved terms for energy efficiency upgrades and approve a broader range of small businesses for credit than they otherwise could.
Commercial buildings use 37% of the state’s electricity, more than any other sector, so reducing commercial building energy use is key to reaching California’s goal of doubling energy efficiency by 2030. Within the commercial sector, small businesses are an especially hard-to-reach segment because owners face many competing priorities, are often operating on slim margins and can be perceived as risky borrowers. GoGreen Business is designed to make it easier for small business owners to invest in the energy efficiency improvements that will save energy and reduce their operating costs while helping California meet its energy goals.
Participating Finance Companies
GoGreen Business financing is currently offered directly to eligible businesses statewide through six finance companies: Alliance Funding Group, Ascentium Capital, DLL, Prime Capital Funding, Renew Energy Partners and Verdant Commercial Capital. Additionally, Travis Credit Union serves businesses in 12 Northern California counties, and Accessity will begin offering microloans for upgrades in San Diego County in 2022. Three of the eight enrolled finance companies offer customers the convenience of making payments on GoGreen Business upgrades through their utility bills via the program’s On-Bill Repayment (OBR) feature.
The GoGreen Business Energy Financing Options chart lists the financing products available directly to businesses statewide. GoGreen Business allows finance companies to offer traditional equipment leases and loans, as well as several variations of service agreements, in which customers either receive guaranteed functionality or savings for a fixed monthly price or make payments based on actual energy savings. The program offers a simplified pathway for microloans under $10,000 as well as the flexibility for innovative financing business models and partnerships. Finance companies interested in partnering with GoGreen Business should visit the Finance Companies page on GoGreenFinancing.com or contact CHEEF at email@example.com.
GoGreen Business enrolled its first project in July 2019, entering a pilot phase that will lead to an evaluation by the California Public Utilities Commission. OBR functionality was added to the regulations in July 2021 and became available to customers in March 2022. For detailed information on GoGreen Business program activity, visit the CHEEF Reports and Additional Materials page.
Who Benefits And How?
GoGreen Business is available to businesses and nonprofits that receive energy from an investor-owned utility (PG&E, SCE, SCG and/or SDG&E) or Community Choice Aggregator and meet at least one of the following criteria: 100 or fewer employees, less than $15 million in annual revenue, or conformity with Small Business Administration size guidelines for their industry. Because of the credit enhancement, GoGreen Business is available to businesses that face challenges securing traditional financing, including newer businesses, those leasing their spaces, and those in the cannabis industry.
Through the program, California’s 4 million small businesses can finance energy efficiency measures like heat pumps, cool roofs, HVAC units, LED lighting and efficient appliances. Participants can finance as much as $5 million in improvements through GoGreen Business; a portion may consist of non-energy projects and property improvements.
The program’s earliest customers have included grocery stores, dairies, office buildings and bakeries. Businesses from virtually any industry (including market-rate multifamily housing) may participate as long as they meet the eligibility requirements above.
GoGreen Business Contractors and Project Developers
All GoGreen Business projects must be installed by a participating contractor. Enrolled project developers can help businesses design projects. Current listings of enrolled contractors and project developers are updated regularly and may be found through the Find a Contractor tool on GoGreenFinancing.com.
Contractors or other energy professionals who are interested in partnering with GoGreen Business should visit the Contractor partners page on GoGreenFinancing.com or contact the contractor manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information on the project developer role may be found here.
The regulations for the GoGreen Business program were initially authorized under the emergency regulations process on Dec. 17, 2018, then were formalized through the regular rulemaking process and approved by the Office of Administrative Law on January 21, 2020. Regulations were modified again through the emergency regulations process on July 19, 2021. Modifications included creation of a microloan pathway, expansion of eligible Energy Saving Measures, the addition of OBR, simplification of reporting, and a provision to begin referring to the program as GoGreen Business Energy Financing, or GoGreen Business, in informational and marketing materials. Visit the GoGreen Business regulations webpage for links to the current regulations.
Find more information about GoGreen Business at GoGreenFinancing.com, the CHEEF’s customer-facing website.