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Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

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River Falls Municipal Utilities - Renewable Energy Finance Program   

Last DSIRE Review: 08/28/2014
Program Overview:
State: Wisconsin
Incentive Type: PACE Financing
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Custom/Others pending approval, Must be in connection with an eligible renewable energy project
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Photovoltaics, Wind, Geothermal Electric, Geothermal Heat Pumps
Applicable Sectors: Residential
Terms:Loan amounts from $2,500 to $50,000 per property
Loan may provide up to 100% of project cost at 4% interest rate
Loan length: 5-20 years.
Web Site:

River Falls Municipal Utilities (RFMU) offers loans of $2,500 - $50,000 to its residential customers for the installation of photovoltaic (PV), solar thermal, geothermal, wind electric systems. The program will also support the installation of energy efficiency measures in connection with a qualifying renewable energy project, provided that the renewable energy portion of the project comprises at least 50% of project costs. Systems that generate renewable electricity must be connected to the RFMU distribution grid. Loan terms vary by project, but may range from 5 -20 years at a current interest rate of 4%. Actual loan terms will be determined by program personnel based on the payback period for the improvements. In order to qualify for a loan, the project energy savings associated with a project must be at least 75% of the cost of the project plus loan interest over the life of the loan. In addition, projects for which costs exceed 125% of the average cost of similar improvements (as determined by program personnel) are not eligible for loans.

In order to receive a loan through this program, the home must already qualify as a Wisconsin Energy Star Home, or the applicant must first have a Home Performance with Energy Star home energy assessment performed prior applying for a loan. For PV and wind electric systems, a site assessment by a Focus on Energy (the state incentive program) approved contractor is also required, while an assessment is recommended for solar water heating projects. Systems must generally meet the requirements of the Focus on Energy Renewable Energy Incentives in order to qualify for a loan. Solar space heating and geothermal heating and cooling systems are not covered by the state program and thus are subject to separate standards. The program web site contains a detailed, step-by-step summary of the procedures a customer must follow in order to participate. Program pre-approval is required prior to the installation of any improvements.

The program is unique in that the repayment of loans takes place as a special fee on the customer's annual property tax bill (sometimes referred to as Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE financing) as authorized by Wis. Stat. § 66.0627 (click here for a summary of the enabling law). The applicant must own the property upon which the improvements take place. Should the original owner of the property transfer ownership to another party, the balance of the loan is due immediately on the date of sale. However, the new owner may instead request approval to assume the loan balance under the existing terms and conditions.

  Mike Noreen
River Falls Municipal Utilities
222 Lewis Street, Suite 228
River Falls, WI 54022
Phone: (715) 426-3467
Fax: (715) 425-7217
Web Site:
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2014 - 2015 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.