|Jane E. Lawton Conservation Loan Program
|Maryland Energy Administration
|FY 2021: $2,050,000
|Solar Water Heat
The Jane E. Lawton Conservation Loan Program takes the place of the former Community Energy Loan Program (CELP) and the Energy Efficiency and Economic Development Loan Program (EEEDLP). This program provides local governments, nonprofits, and businesses in the State with an opportunity to reduce their operating expenses by identifying and installing cost-effective energy conservation improvements. It allows borrowers to use the cost savings generated by the improvements as the primary source of revenue for repaying the loans. The program operates as a revolving loan fund where loan repayments from prior awards replenish the fund and allow it to support additional projects. Projects may include renewable installations such as solar hot water or geothermal heat pumps that can meet program guidelines.
Lawton Loans can be made to eligible nonprofits, including hospitals and private schools; local governments, including public school systems and community colleges; and businesses. (Eligible nonprofit applicants may not have a mission that is primarily religious or fraternal.) The Lawton Loan Program has $2,050,000 available for new loans during Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 2021). The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), which administers the program, is required to reserve a portion of the funding each year for loans to non-profits. For FY 2021, $205,000 of available loans funds are reserved for non-profits for the first three months of the year. Additionally, $1,200,000 of available loan funds are reserved for State Agencies for the first half of the fiscal year. Thereafter, remaining funds will be pooled and offered to all eligible applicants on a first-come, first-served basis.
The main qualifying criteria for projects are that they save energy and have a simple payback of 13 years or less. All costs necessary for implementing an energy conservation project can be considered for funding, including the technical assessment, reasonable fees for special services, plans and specifications, and the actual costs of construction. Applicants must provide complete applications that document project costs and estimated energy savings in way that can be validated by MEA.
For FY 2021, from $5,000 to $200,000 is available per loan. The interest rate is set at 1.0% for all non-state agencies and 0% for all local governments for FY 2021 applications. Loan applicants are required to make a contribution to the project although the contribution does not necessarily have to be in the form of cash. Participants begin repaying the loan in the second year after a loan is made, allowing time for projects to be completed and begin generating returns.
Repayments and interest earned by the fund will allow the program to continue making loans for the foreseeable future.