A Feasibility Study of Tariffed On-Bill Financing in Ipswich, Massachusetts

Ashley Muspratt1 and Jon Blair2
1Center for EcoTechnology, 2Ipswich Electric Light Department

Imagine your utility told you they wanted to invest in state-of-the-art technology for your home. No taking on debt, no credit checks, no matter if you’re a renter, and no matter if you plan to move soon. Your obligation? Paying a monthly tariff that sums to no more than the savings in energy costs afforded by the new measures. The tariff, tied to your electric meter, would extend for as long as it takes for the utility to recover its investment, and if you move, would simply transfer to the next occupant.

This is TOB, or tariff on-bill financing. Unlike traditional on-bill financing, where a utility makes a loan to a property owner, thus requiring adequate credit history, willingness to take on debt, etc., TOB decouples capital improvements from the individual resident or business. It is a financing mechanism that enables upgrading properties with measures that reduce operating costs and improve the comfort, health, and environmental footprint of the building, all with little or no upfront capital investment from the ratepayer.

This report is co-authored by CET President Ashley Muspratt, and Jon Blair, General Manager of Ipswich Electric Light Department.

Download report. opens PDF file