Efficiency Financing: How to get $0 Down, 0% Interest Loans for Efficiency Upgrades with up to $100k per project

by Wexus | Aug 06, 2018 | Efficiency & Technology

On-Bill Financing (OBF) is the best way to get energy efficient hardware, sensors and software for your farm or food processing operation.

Energy efficiency (EE) upgrades are a great way for your agricultural business to lower your energy usage, track water usage, and reduce monthly bills. Wexus can help you navigate through your utility's program to help you make improvements to your irrigation pumps and building facilities without up-front, high capital costs. California utilities call this program "On-Bill Financing"  or "OBF." Download our pdf brochure here or check out our 1 pager here with more information and how to sign up. 

What is On-Bill Financing or OBF?

OBF provides $0 down payment and 0% interest loans to help agricultural customers pay for energy efficiency (EE) retrofit projects. Eligible EE upgrades include new pump motors, variable frequency drives, and even water hardware and sensors that save energy like flow meters, well depth sensors, pressure sensors and others.

Ag business customers may qualify for loans between $5,000 and $100,000 per project. The loan repayment terms are based upon the estimated energy savings of the retrofit project and terms can extend up to 60 months. You pay back the OBF loan directly on your utility energy bill from your energy savings driven by your new hardware or equipment.


 Sample OBF project cost, savings, and payback.


How Do I Get Started?

First, the Wexus team works with you and your utility account representative to determine your eligibility. You'll need an active utility account for the previous 24 months, and your account must be in good credit standing with the utility. Note: you can only use OBF loans for non-residential meters, which is perfect for agricultural businesses.

Then, the Wexus team reviews your utility data and the specifics of your operation to estimate the energy savings of your retrofit project. Our team will need at least one year of utility billing and energy usage data for each irrigation pump or piece of equipment to be retrofitted. We'll also review your irrigation-pump- specific data including horsepower, flow rate, and well depth. Pump test reports often provide this information and can greatly speed up the application process. 

If you're already a Wexus customer with irrigation pumps enrolled under our Starter or Professional level SaaS plans, then we'll already have most of the information needed for this review and can greatly speed up the application process even further. 

Next, a Wexus team member will arrange a site visit with you to survey your equipment to be retrofitted. This site visit allows our team to finalize your estimated savings, the hardware/equipment/sensors to be installed, and the capital costs including installation for the project.

How Long Do OBF Projects Take?

Our team can complete your OBF project in 2-3 months from initial signup to completion and quality assessment of your retrofit. 

During the first month, the Wexus team works with you and your utility account representative to pre-qualify and select your retrofit site or multiple sites, estimate the energy savings and total project cost, and perform a Quality Assurance (QA) review.

In month two, your utility account representative provides you with a contract with the specific loan terms. Once signed, the Wexus team works with our preferred network of vendors to install and commission the retrofit equipment/hardware or sensors on site. We also conduct a post-installation review (and in some cases an energy curtailment demonstration for projects with remote controls).

In month three, your utility company reviews the final project results and approves the loan, releases the funds, and then you begin to pay off the loan directly on your utility bill from your energy savings from your newly-installed, energy efficient equipment.


Timeline for a typical OBF project.



If you have any questions about how OBF works, feel free to contact the Wexus Ops team directly at ops@wexusapp.com or sign up here to get started with a free proposal today.