The Missouri Department of Natural Resources provides $ 5 million in loan financing for entities to make investments that reduce their energy use. The ministry’s energy loan program is accepting applications until September 30, and more information for applicants can be found on the program’s website.
Public schools, public higher education institutions, non-profit hospitals and local governments are eligible to apply for loan funding. The money can be used for a variety of energy efficient investments, such as high efficiency lighting fixtures and insulation upgrades.
Investments reduce costs for loan recipients through energy savings. The loan recipients are usually able to repay the loan using only the money saved through the improved costs.
Daniel Dahler, the energy loan and energy insurance program supervisor, said the timing of payback varies. He said loans that fund the replacement of old fluorescent lights with LED lights can take two to four years to pay off, but the cost savings and return on investment are then evident.
Another advantage is that loans are not defined as debt, so they do not harm the debt limit of entities. Dahler said this allows entities to make other needed improvements, such as repaving parking lots or paying teachers higher salaries.
The energy loan program has provided loans to entities in nearly every county in the state, and Dahler said the goal is to continue to reduce energy use and costs in Missouri.
The ministry announced the application period in a press release on Tuesday. “As part of the state’s efforts to support and strengthen local communities, the Department of Natural Resources is pleased to offer a round of energy loan program to help eligible applicants achieve economic energy improvements,” he said. said Carol Comer, director of the Ministry of Nature. Resources. “The program can improve the resilience of communities, save taxpayer dollars and support jobs in Missouri.
More than $ 118 million has been provided under the energy loan program since its inception in 1989, and there have been no defaults in the history of the program. These loans have resulted in energy savings estimated at over $ 214 million. Dahler said the program has grown since its inception because the interest on the loan is reinvested to grow the fund.
“It shows that we are good stewards of state money and that we are trying to directly affect the voters we serve,” Dahler said.