Residential Energy Efficiency Loan (REEL) Assistance Program

[SPONSORED CONTENT] Financing is the Solution for Getting Energy Projects Greenlit. Program Aims to Help Contractors Close Deals and Increase Project Scope.

November 15, 2016

[SPONSORED CONTENT] The REEL Program provides contractors with access to a financing solution that is affordable for customers, integrates with most utility rebate programs and incorporates both energy efficiency and non-energy related home improvements, all with no cost to participate.

Californians want to save energy and money on their homes, but lack of upfront cash often discourages even the most committed homeowners from moving forward with energy improvement projects. In a collaborative effort to help Californians take charge of their energy and support our state’s progressive climate goals, the State of California is working with contractors and lenders to increase the availability of lower-cost financing.

 We have had a lot of customers…that don’t want to place a lien on their property.  I also like that the interest rates are good and that it’s easy to apply online.”

Mark Ramirez, President, Comfort Climate

For participating contractors, the REEL Program presents a powerful new tool to offer customers a solution to pay for energy improvement projects with no money down and without requiring equity in the home or requiring the real property as collateral. REEL is designed to facilitate greater deal flow by helping contractors reach new customers, sign more contracts and increase the overall scope and value of completed projects.  Eligible measures include HVAC, insulation, air sealing, lighting, water heating, some appliances, windows and more. Contractors choose whether or not to apply for utility rebates.

The REEL program now welcomes residential contractors to register for free compliance training (1 hour long) and become REEL Qualified Contractors. Once qualified, approved contractors open themselves up to a large war-chest of resources and marketing dollars to help them become successful in their businesses. Register now and view lender and product profiles at

About the REEL Program

The Residential Energy Efficiency Loan (REEL) Assistance Program is the first financing pilot program to roll out in the state and is designed to stimulate energy improvement projects for both homeowners and renters. The program is administered by the California Hub for Energy Efficiency Financing (CHEEF) and in partnership with California’s Investor-Owned Utilities.

Matadors Credit Union and California Coast Credit Union are the program’s first two statewide lenders, with several smaller regional credit unions also offering products including Valley Oak Credit Union, servicing residents of Tulare and Madera Counties.

All approved lenders are offering some combination of better rates, terms, or underwriting criteria that helps borrowers obtain financing they may otherwise not qualify to receive. Improvements financed through a REEL Participating Lender must be for a residential property of 1-4 units, which receives gas or electric service from an investor-owned utility[1]. Renters may also be eligible for the loan with the property owner’s permission, depending on the lender.

A unique value of the REEL Program is that customers may finance non-energy improvements with their loan, provided at least 70% of the project scope includes eligible energy efficiency measures, which can be found through a link on the CHEEF website.

Differentiating the REEL participating loan products from the pack

In addition to offering competitive interest rates, REEL loans are not secured by a property owner’s home, allow for broader credit requirements when compared to similar loans and offer seamless integration with state or local rebate programs.

Additionally, the REEL program is backed by the statewide Energy Upgrade California® marketing, education & outreach campaign, building demand in the marketplace for energy management projects while promoting financing as a solution to solve most barriers consumers have with the construction costs that go along with building performance improvements.

How to Become a REEL Qualified Contractor

By participating in REEL, contractors can make these financing products available to their customers and share in the benefits. The mandatory REEL compliance training is only one hour long (offered online via scheduled webinar) is now open to all licensed and insured residential HVAC, insulation and whole house general contractors who want to offer this kind of financing to their customers.

Approved Contractors will be featured on the statewide Energy Upgrade CA website and are eligible to receive up to $27,000 for professionally designed marketing materials and digital advertising campaigns to sell their services to their current and potential customers.

To learn more about the REEL Program or to register as a REEL Qualified Contractor, visit For additional questions, contact program staff at (213) 292-6786 or email


[1] Investor-owned utilities in California include: Southern California Gas Company, San Diego Gas & Electric, Pacific Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison

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