Montpelier, VT – New financing for Vermont commercial, small business and agricultural sustainable energy projects is available at the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA). A bill creating the new Vermont Sustainable Energy Loan Fund was signed into law by Governor Peter Shumlin this summer, and project applications are now being invited by the Authority.
“This program will provide a strong impetus to the many Vermont businesses and farms of all sizes that seek to invest in their energy futures in sustainable ways, lower their carbon footprints, and increase their bottom lines,” said Jo Bradley, VEDA Chief Executive Officer. “The Fund will also provide loan guarantees to participating financial institutions that enroll loans made to businesses to improve overall energy efficiency.”
According to Statute, the purpose of the new Fund is to enable VEDA “to make loans and provide other forms of financing for projects that stimulate and encourage development and deployment of sustainable energy projects in the State of Vermont,” with “sustainable energy” defined as energy efficiency, renewable energy, and technologies that enhance or support the development and implementation of renewable energy or energy efficiency, or both.
“The Authority greatly appreciates the efforts of those who helped craft and assure passage of this important legislation,” said Bradley. “We thank Governor Shumlin, Legislative Leaders, State Treasurer Beth Pearce, the Department of Public Service, the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC), the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Vermont Bankers Association for their leadership on this issue.”
In recent years, VEDA has already approved millions of dollars in financing for commercial and agricultural energy generation and efficiency projects, supporting investments in hydropower, solar photovoltaic, wind, digester and biomass initiatives. However, Bradley said the new Fund will help the Authority improve operational efficiencies by consolidating all its energy lending under a single umbrella.
The Sustainable Energy Loan Fund has four separate programs:
- The Small Business Energy Loan Program (SBELP) provides loans up to $350,000 for smaller qualifying commercial sustainable energy projects;
- The Commercial Energy Loan Program (CELP) provides loans up to $2.0 million for relatively larger qualifying sustainable energy projects;
- The Agricultural Energy Loan Program (AELP) provides loans for qualifying agriculture and forest product-based sustainable energy projects; and
- The Energy Loan Guarantee Program (ELGP) provides loan guarantees to participating financial institutions that enroll loans made to businesses to improve the businesses’ overall energy efficiency. The guarantee program will be backed by a VEDA-funded Reserve, by the Vermont Public Service Department, and by VEIC through Federal funding they have received for sustainable energy projects.
Bradley noted that while energy lending will be done by VEDA, the Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF) will continue to award grants for energy projects. VEIC will provide an analysis of the energy savings from projects seeking financing from the Fund. “The Fund will help Vermont enhance the state’s available capital capacity for sustainable energy projects, build momentum in the development of qualified energy projects, and help create new jobs throughout the state,” said Bradley.
Interested businesses and farms are encouraged to contact VEDA’s experienced commercial and agricultural loan officers, their community bankers, or their Regional Development Corporations (RDCs) for more information about how the Authority might help support their sustainable energy project plans. Visit www.veda.org to learn more, or call 802-828-JOBS.
The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) is Vermont’s statewide economic development finance lender. VEDA was created by the General Assembly in 1974 with a mission “to contribute to the creation and retention of quality jobs in Vermont by providing loans and other financial support to eligible and qualified Vermont industrial, commercial and agricultural enterprises.”
Over the years, VEDA has grown and adapted its financing programs to keep pace with an ever-changing economy. VEDA offers a wide range of low-cost lending options for Vermont businesses and
farms of all sizes, and the Authority’s lending solutions are customized to each borrower’s individual needs. Whether in the form of direct loans, tax-exempt bond issuance or loan guarantee support, VEDA’s innovative financing programs help ensure that Vermont businesses and farms have the capital they need to grow and succeed. VEDA most often lends in conjunction with banks and other financing partners, helping to stimulate economic development activity in Vermont.
Since 1974, VEDA has provided over $1.9 billion in financing assistance to thousands of eligible Vermont entrepreneurs, manufacturers, small businesses, family farms, and agricultural enterprises, helping them to realize their business growth goals, create jobs, and enhance the vitality of Vermont’s economy. For more information about VEDA, visit www.veda.org or call 802-828-JOBS.