California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority

Small Business Loans, Leases, and Energy Service Agreements

Designed to encourage energy efficiency financing for small businesses


The Small Business Financing (SBF) program helps small businesses access more attractive financing terms for energy efficiency retrofits. The SBF program accomplishes this by extending a credit enhancement to finance companies, which helps them mitigate risk. In return for this risk mitigation, the finance companies offer customers lower rates, longer terms, larger amounts or broader underwriting criteria than they otherwise would. Eligible customers include for-profits and nonprofits meeting one of the following requirements: fewer than 100 employees, annual revenues of less than $15 million or adherence to SBA size limitations. Products supported include loans, leases, equipment financing agreements, service agreements and savings-based payment agreements. An on-bill repayment option is planned to be added to the program in 2020.


The Small Business Financing program had a soft launch over the summer of 2019, with full program launch in October 2019. Finance companies, contractors, and project developers may enroll to participate on an ongoing basis.


Regulations for the Small Business Financing program took effect on December 17, 2018. Visit the SBF regulations webpage for more information regarding the rulemaking process and to view the current regulations.

Additional information on the Small Business Financing Program can be found at