The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) announced the launch of the Access Clean Energy Savings (ACES) initiative. ACES provides technical assistance to help rural electric cooperatives and public power utilities apply for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Electric Savings Program (RESP).
RESP provides zero-interest 20-year loans for improving energy efficiency, including through clean energy. For example, RESP loans can finance cost-effective energy upgrades like on- and off-grid renewable energy systems, building efficiency improvements, permanently installed energy storage devices, and beneficial electrification projects.
The aim is to help families and businesses reduce energy usage, and enable utilities to better manage their loads or even increase their sales — while reaching a broader range of customers through their programs. Currently, there is $100 million available in zero-percent interest loans through RESP by USDA.
“EESI is delighted to launch the Access Clean Energy Savings initiative to spread the word about the funding available to rural utilities,” said EESI Executive Director Carol Werner. “We can help cooperatives apply for those funds with our Access Clean Energy Savings program.”
The ACES program, offered in partnership with the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA CLUSA), builds off EESI’s decade of experience providing no-cost technical assistance to rural electric co-ops for on-bill financing programs.
ACES is supported by The JPB Foundation, the New York Community Trust, the McKnight Foundation, and the Merck Family Fund.