How it Works

How it Works

  • First, schedule an initial meeting or phone call to discuss the process and eligibility by emailing BetterBuildings Northwest Ohio or calling the BetterBuildings office at 419.243.8251.
  • The application is available here for your review and use.
  • Basic information includes:
    • Entity name
    • Address
    • Contact information (if private company, the owners' names)
    • Type of business
    • Company structure
    • Location
    • Building square footage where energy efficiency equipment will be installed
  • Three years of financial statements and most recent interim statements, list of creditors and for privately held companies: ownership percentages and guarantor information. A pre-approved finance amount can be provided if desired.
  • Two years of energy usage and cost data. Utility information form is available here.
  • To be eligible, projects must be energy efficiency upgrades to an existing building. Renewable energy can be incorporated with government facilities. For commercial projects, renewable energy must be part of a broader energy efficiency effort.
  • Determining cost effective energy efficiency begins with an energy analysis, also referred to as an energy evaluation. You may select a qualified company or individual to perform the evaluation and if so, the Energy Professional will need to be approved by the BetterBuildings program. BetterBuildings can also provide an Energy Professional or provide pre-approved Energy Professionals for the selection.
  • The evaluation must be completed by a qualified professional such as a Certified Energy Manager (CEM) or Professional Engineer (PE). For larger buildings with multiple systems, an appropriate American Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air Condition Engineers (ASHRE) Level is used. For lighting projects, a Lighting Certified (LC), Certified Lighting Efficiency Professional (CLEP), or Certified Lighting Management Consultant (CLMC) professional is utilized.
  • For projects which incorporate advance technologies or renewable energy, a project and technology review (feasibility study) may be required. The BetterBuildings program advisers can assist with this process.
  • All projects must be technically and economically feasible. The report provided from the energy assessment will recommend several energy conservation measures with energy savings, equipment cost and pay backs for the building owners consideration and decision.
  • Once the energy analysis is received, decisions need to be made by the borrower about the size, scope and timing of the project, the desired term of the financing and the project payback.
  • Most companies or business entities will obtain their internal approvals at this time. A government or school will go through appropriate legislative and/or board reviews and approvals. BetterBuildings program advisers can provide support for these processes.
  • The BetterBuildings financing and documentation process is designed to run parallel with the processes above to insure that the project is approved and ready to go.
  • BetterBuildings provides access to long-term fixed rate investment grade financing for terms up to 15 years. Funds can be available immediately from construction through the economic life of the equipment and can include all of the cost of implementation including energy assessment, project design, construction management and other transaction costs. Commercial projects have ranged in size from $25,000 to over $5 million.
  • Loans are paid back through a special energy assessment on the property in available energy special improvement districts. In some instances, such as alternative energy projects, it may be paid through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
  • Financing is provided through the Northwest Ohio Bond Fund, which has been in existence for over 20 years, and provides long-term fixed rate financing for up to 10 years for equipment (can be longer depending on useful life).
  • A $700 non-refundable fee is required at the time of signing the term sheet. These funds will be used to cover costs including, but not limited to, title work, legal fees and inspection fees.
  • The BetterBuildings program recommends receiving three proposals or bids for the work to complete your energy efficiency project.
  • If you are unsure how to manage and implement the project, or lack the resources, BetterBuildings program advisers can provide guidance or management assistance.
  • The energy analysis measures total energy usage and projects annual energy savings.
  • We are required to report to the national Department of Energy BetterBuildings Challenge the energy analyses, completed upgrades, energy savings, completed financing, and hours worked. We require ongoing reporting of energy data and will verify savings after the implementation. BetterBuildings will provide support for this process.
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