For Municipalities

If you work in local government, you know one of the biggest line items in the budget is energy costs. Saving money on electricity, heating, and cooling keeps local property taxes down and provides stability for local governments. But unlike businesses, a municipality often has special requirements and considerations when seeking financing. In some New Hampshire towns, the opportunity to approve any borrowing comes only once a year.

The Clean Energy Fund’s Municipal Energy Reduction Fund (MERF) is available to help municipalities improve the energy efficiency of their municipal buildings and operating systems (schools are ineligible for this program). The goal is to reduce energy usage and costs.

MERF Program Details

CDFA was awarded $1.5 million in funding through the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission to capitalize MERF as a revolving loan fund. Because the money comes from the state and not the federal government, this program has fewer compliance requirements – helping your community avoid much of the red tape.

Loans to municipalities are structured based on energy savings. Savings are calculated based on the last several years of energy usage and several years of future projected usage. The terms of the loans are flexible and can be structured as a service contract if desired by the town.

Eligible activities for MERF include, but are not limited to:

Project Eligibility

1.All energy measures together must meet a “Savings to Investment Ratio” of greater than 1, meaning that projected savings from the energy measures over the term of the loan must exceed the total EE/RE investment

Eligible Technologies

  • Audited energy efficiency measures
    • I.E. weatherization, insulation, building and street lighting, water saving measures
  • Renewable electric and/or thermal generating systems
    • I.E. Geothermal, solar thermal, biomass, solar electric

Financial requirements

  • Efficiency projects require an ASHRAE Level 2 energy audit
    • We may in some circumstances accept a recent energy audit (within the past 5 years)
  • Renewable generation projects require a recent feasibility study, price proposal and proposed savings analysis
  • All projects require financial statements or tax returns showing the ability of the borrower to repay the debt
  • Audited energy efficiency measures
  • Renewable electric and/or thermal generating systems


To read how Manchester used our Clean Energy Fund programs to bring down the energy costs of city hall and the library, click here.


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