Collins expands energy efficiency loan program

Utilities now may offer on-bill financing for loans to owners of larger rental properties

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) announced that an energy efficiency loan program has been expanded to rental properties with more than four units, thanks to legislation she sponsored this spring. Senate Bill 2350 was signed into law yesterday.

“Making energy efficient improvements boosts rental properties’ value, as well as tenants’ quality of life,” Collins said. “Millions of dollars had been set aside to make these loans to owners and landlords but was going unused, so my colleagues and I wanted to expand the reach of the program using available resources.”

The program, funded by the state’s public utilities, lends money to residential owners and landlords to make improvements that increase the energy efficiency of their properties. On-bill financing helps borrowers gradually and easily pay back their loans as they pay their utility bills each month. Landlords are not allowed to include repayment amounts on tenants’ utility bills. Starting in 2009, electric and gas utilities were required by state law to offer the loans; they contributed $12.5 million to the energy efficiency effort, but so far, less than $3 million has been issued.

“I’m pleased that we’re allowing this program to work to its full potential, benefitting property owners, tenants and the environment,” Collins said. “The money the utilities have allocated for this purpose should not sit unused.”