Austin’s Home Performance with Energy Star Program: Making a Compelling Offer to a Financial Institution Partner
Launched in 2006, over 8,700 residential energy upgrades have been completed through Austin Energy‟s Home Performance with Energy Star (HPwES) program.1 The program‟s lending partner, Velocity Credit Union (VCU) has originated almost 1,800 loans, totaling approximately $12.5 million. Residential energy efficiency loans are typically small, and expensive to originate and service relative to larger financing products. National lenders have been hesitant to deliver attractive loan products to this small, but growing, residential market. In response, energy efficiency programs have found ways to partner with local and regional banks, credit unions, community development finance institutions (CDFIs) and co-ops to deliver energy efficiency financing to homeowners. VCU‟s experience with the Austin Energy HPwES program highlights the potential benefits of energy efficiency programs to a lending partner.