Jane E. Lawton Conservation Loan Program
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Revolving Loan Fund
Lawton Loans can be made to eligible nonprofits, including hospitals and private schools; local governments, including public school systems and community colleges; and businesses. (Eligible nonprofit applicants may not have a mission that is primarily religious or fraternal.) The Lawton Loan Program has roughly $1.5 million available for new loans during Fiscal Year 2016 (FY 2016). The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), which administers the program, is required to reserve a portion of the funding each year for loans to non-profits. For FY 2016, $500,000 of available loans funds are reserved for non-profits through August 31, 2016. Thereafter, remaining funds will be pooled and offered to all eligible applicants on a first-come, first-served basis.
The main qualifying criteria for projects are that they save energy and have a simple payback of 10 years or less. All costs necessary for implementing an energy conservation project can be considered for funding, including the technical assessment, reasonable fees for special services, plans and specifications, and the actual costs of construction. Applicants must provide complete applications that document project costs and estimated energy savings in way that can be validated by MEA.
For FY 2016, from $40,000 to $500,000 is available per loan, although larger requests may be considered on a case-by-case basis. The interest rate is set at 2.0% for FY 2016 applications. Loan applicants are required to make a contribution to the project although the contribution does not necessarily have to be in the form of cash. Participants begin repaying the loan in the second year after a loan is made, allowing time for projects to be completed and begin generating returns.
Repayments and interest earned by the fund will allow the program to continue making loans for the foreseeable future. To date the program has reportedly issued more than 50 loan awards providing a total of roughly $21 million for projects across the state. These figures include loans made under the prior programs that the Lawton Loan Program replaced.