Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency for Schools Loan
The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency for Schools (REEES) Loan Program was created in 2009 to provide low-interest loans to school districts for the purpose of installing renewable energy systems and purchasing energy efficient school buses. The program was amended in May 2014 via S.B. 14-202 to broaden the scope of eligible energy efficiency projects to include all projects that result in a more efficient use of energy or resources, including water conservation projects. Eligible types of renewable energy include wind, solar, biomass, small hydro, and “other sources of renewable energy.”
Renewable energy project loans are provided to qualified school districts on a competitive basis. School districts are eligible to use loans for renewable energy projects that have third-party ownership or include interest in a community solar garden. Although a charter school is not directly eligible to receive a loan, its authorizing school district can apply for a loan on its behalf.
The maximum loan a school district can receive is $1,000,000, and the maximum loan term is 15 years. The semi-annual application cycle closes on October 31 and April 30 each year.
Applications that meet the criteria for completeness and financial feasibility are ranked on the following three criteria (with corresponding weights):
- energy cost reductions (30%),
- technical merit (40%), and
- educational benefit (30%).
Loan recipients must submit quarterly progress reports and a final project report to the Office of Energy. More information on the program including program rules and applications are available on the program website.