7 U.S. Code § 8107a - Rural energy savings program
The purpose of this section is to help rural families and small businesses achieve cost savings by providing loans to qualified consumers to implement durable cost-effective energy efficiency measures.
In this section:
(1) Eligible entity
The term “eligible entity” means—
(A) any public power district, public utility district, or similar entity, or any electric cooperative described in section 501 (c)(12) or 1381 (a)(2) of title 26, that borrowed and repaid, prepaid, or is paying an electric loan made or guaranteed by the Rural Utilities Service (or any predecessor agency);
(B) any entity primarily owned or controlled by 1 or more entities described in subparagraph (A); or
(C) any other entity that is an eligible borrower of the Rural Utilities Service, as determined under section 1710.101 of title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (or a successor regulation).
(2) Energy efficiency measures
The term “energy efficiency measures” means, for or at property served by an eligible entity, structural improvements and investments in cost-effective, commercial technologies to increase energy efficiency.
(3) Qualified consumer
The term “qualified consumer” means a consumer served by an eligible entity that has the ability to repay a loan made under subsection (d), as determined by the eligible entity.
(c) Loans to eligible entities
(1) In general
Subject to paragraph (2), the Secretary shall make loans to eligible entities that agree to use the loan funds to make loans to qualified consumers for the purpose of implementing energy efficiency measures.
(A) In general
As a condition of receiving a loan under this subsection, an eligible entity shall—
(i) establish a list of energy efficiency measures that is expected to decrease energy use or costs of qualified consumers;
(ii) prepare an implementation plan for use of the loan funds, including use of any interest to be received pursuant to subsection (d)(1)(A);
(iii) provide for appropriate measurement and verification to ensure—
(B) Revision of list of energy efficiency measures
Subject to the approval of the Secretary, an eligible entity may update the list required under subparagraph (A)(i) to account for newly available efficiency technologies.
(C) Existing energy efficiency programs
An eligible entity that, at any time before the date that is 60 days after February 7, 2014, has established an energy efficiency program for qualified consumers may use an existing list of energy efficiency measures, implementation plan, or measurement and verification system of that program to satisfy the requirements of subparagraph (A) if the Secretary determines the list, plan, or systems are consistent with the purposes of this section.
With respect to a loan under paragraph (1)—
(5) Amount of advances
Any advance of loan funds to an eligible entity in any single year shall not exceed 50 percent of the approved loan amount.
(6) Special advance for start-up activities
(A) In general
In order to assist an eligible entity in defraying the appropriate start-up costs (as determined by the Secretary) of establishing new programs or modifying existing programs to carry out subsection (d), the Secretary shall allow an eligible entity to request a special advance.
No eligible entity may receive a special advance under this paragraph for an amount that is greater than 4 percent of the loan amount received by the eligible entity under paragraph (1).
(d) Loans to qualified consumers
(1) Terms of loans
Loans made by an eligible entity to qualified consumers using loan funds provided by the Secretary under subsection (c)—
(A) may bear interest, not to exceed 3 percent, to be used for purposes that include—
(B) shall finance energy efficiency measures for the purpose of decreasing energy usage or costs of the qualified consumer by an amount that ensures, to the maximum extent practicable, that a loan term of not more than 10 years will not pose an undue financial burden on the qualified consumer, as determined by the eligible entity;
(C) shall not be used to fund purchases of, or modifications to, personal property unless the personal property is or becomes attached to real property (including a manufactured home) as a fixture;
(D) shall be repaid through charges added to the electric bill for the property for, or at which, energy efficiency measures are or will be implemented, on the condition that this requirement does not prohibit—
(e) Contract for measurement and verification, training, and technical assistance
(1) In general
Not later than 90 days after February 7, 2014, the Secretary—
(A) shall establish a plan for measurement and verification, training, and technical assistance of the program; and
(f) Additional authority
The authority provided in this section is in addition to any other authority of the Secretary to offer loans under any other law.
(g) Effective period
Subject to the availability of funds and except as otherwise provided in this section, the loans and other expenditures required to be made under this section shall be available until expended, with the Secretary authorized to make new loans as loans are repaid.