On-bill repayments (OBR) are a method of financing energy efficiency improvements through a customer’s utility bill. Typically, the customer receives an upfront loan to make energy efficiency or renewable energy improvements to their property and then repays that loan through a surcharge on their utility bill. In contrast, with on-bill financing, the utility loans the capital and collects the payments through a surcharge. With on-bill repayment, a third-party private capital provider loans the capital, and the utility acts as a pass-through entity, collecting repayments and sending those monies back to the lender. On-bill repayment thus can act as a form of public-private partnership when designed as such and can involve multiple private lenders willing to operate through a state’s utilities to make loans to utility customers. On-bill financing can underpin many of the other instruments outlined above, becoming a cross-cutting solution.

Instrument category

Leasing and asset finance models

Implementation status

Moderate - tried and tested

Enabling conditions and success factors
  • Well developed local government system for collection of tax or rates.
Instrument benefits
  • Enables payments by instalment within an existing payment system such as tax or service charge.

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