TRAVERSE CITY, MI.-- The Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce is expanding a loan program partnership with Traverse City Light and Power to help local businesses reduce electricity consumption and lower their utility bills.
The utility board this month approved an additional $50,000 for the Chamber’s Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund that promotes energy savings among businesses in the utility’s service district. It offers micro loans for companies to invest in energy efficiency measures identified through a comprehensive energy audit.
Light and Power also authorized $50,000 for the loan fund last fall, for a total contribution of $100,000. The Traverse City Area Chamber and its Chamber Foundation each also committed $50,000, for a total lending pool of $200,000.
Eligible companies must be commercial or industrial customers of Light & Power and members of the chamber. Applications are reviewed by a Loan Review Task Force with a primary goal of reducing electric use during peak demand periods for Light & Power.
Loan conditions vary based on the proposed projects. Terms are up to five years at an interest rate of 3 to 5 percent.
Laura Galbraith, the Chamber’s Vice President of Administration, said Light & Power funds will help sustain a revolving loan program that’s already launched several local energy efficiency projects that helped companies save on energy costs. The work also helps the utility by reducing its peak load demand during high energy use periods.
Galbraith said the fund has distributed eight loans so far totaling more than $150,000.
“We’ve been able to assist several local companies in reducing their power consumption and lowering their utility bills,” Galbraith said.
Utility officials also said they’re pleased with the response to the loan fund.
“It’s a great benefit to Light and Power’s energy efficiency program to be able to offer our business customers the ability to receive funding for energy efficiency projects, especially as those projects become more involved and costly,” Light and Power Executive Director Tim Arends said. “Light and Power is pleased with the success of the Chamber TCL&P Energy Efficiency Loan Program and looks forward to continued success.”
More information on the program is available on the Chamber’s website at www.tcchamber.org at the “Need Money?” link or by contacting Galbraith at (231) 995-7110.