Gov. Peter Shumlin and lawmakers unveiled a plan Wednesday to help support renewable and energy efficiency projects in the private sector.
The idea is consolidate existing state energy loans and leverage state money to provide up to $10 million in low-interest loans for businesses. Loans could be upward of $300,000 and could be used for anything from a solar project to weatherization.
The Vermont Economic Development Authority would oversee the effort.
"We already do some energy lending and it's kind of scattered in various programs, so this will really allow us to put all the programs under one umbrella called the Clean Energy Loan Fund," said Jo Bradley of VEDA.
"The market right now really isn't recognizing the savings you're getting from this efficiency. Our hope is that working with VEDA and with the traditional banks, that we can quicken the pace of efficiency investments and renewable energy investments so that we get them online and we have experience so that private financing will be more likely to occur," said Rep. Shap Smith, D-Vt. House Speaker.
Officials say several other states including New York and Connecticut have launched similar clean energy loan programs.
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