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Jane E. Lawton Conservation Loan Program

Eligibility 
Commercial
Industrial
Institutional
Local Government
Nonprofit
Schools
Savings Category 
Solar Water Heat
Maximum Rebate 

$500,000 (larger requests considered on a case-by-case basis)

Program Info
Funding Source 

Revolving Loan Fund

State 
Maryland
Program Type 
State Loan Program
Rebate Amount 

Varies; $40,000 - $500,000

Provider 
Maryland Energy Administration

The Jane E. Lawton Conservation Loan Program (JELLP) 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 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* for eligible non-profit organizations and local governments only. For businesses, only energy conservation and energy efficiency projects are eligible for loans.

Loans under the Program can be made to eligible nonprofits, including hospitals and private schools; local governments, including public school systems and community colleges; and businesses. (Eligible applicants may not have a mission that is primarily religious or fraternal.) The JELLP has roughly $1.75 million available for new loans during Fiscal Year 2014 (FY 2014). 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 2014, $500,000 of available loans funds are reserved for non-profits through August 31, 2013. Thereafter, remaining funds will be pooled and offered to all eligible applicants on a first-come, first-served basis.

The only qualifying criteria for projects are that they save energy and have a simple payback of 10 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. In April 2009, the authorizing legislation for the program was amended by [http://mlis.state.md.us/2009rs/chapters_noln/Ch_169_hb1442T.pdf H.B. 1442] to add specific types of renewable energy projects* as eligible for loan proceeds and to revise the list of eligible recipients to include certain special county districts and agencies.

For FY 2014, from $40,000 - $500,000 is available per loan although larger requests may be considered on a case-by-case basis. The interest rate is set at 2.5% for FY 2014 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. To date the program has reportedly issued more than 50 loan awards providing a total of roughly $21 million for projects across the state. These figures include loans made under the prior programs that the JELLP replaced.

*As the program is designed to increase the energy efficiency of applicant property, in this instance, "renewable energy" has been interpreted by the MEA to refer only to renewable energy technologies that save, rather than generate energy (i.e., solar water heating or geothermal heat pumps).