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TUESDAY, NOV. 30, 2010

Myung Oak Kim, Governor’s Office, 303.947.5708, Myung.kim@state.co.us

Jerilynn Martinez, CHFA, 303.297.7427, jmartinez@chfainfo.com

Loans target energy initiatives, expected to help more than 160 Colorado businesses

Gov. Bill Ritter, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) announced two new programs today that will finance energy-efficiency improvements in commercial buildings and renewable energy businesses in Colorado.

“These new loan programs answer a significant need expressed by Colorado businesses of all sizes – access to capital,” Gov. Ritter said. “We are helping Colorado companies sustain operations during the economic downturn, improve energy efficiency and thrive in the New Energy Economy. Most importantly, these loans will help businesses create jobs.”

The first program, the Green Colorado Credit Reserve (Green CCR), builds on the Colorado Credit Reserve program (CCR), which was revived by Gov. Ritter and the state legislature in 2009 to increase small businesses’ access to capital. Green CCR will allow businesses to finance up to $100,000 in energy efficiency retrofits within their office or manufacturing facility. Participating lenders will receive a 15 percent loan loss reserve contribution for every loan registered in the program to encourage private sector lending and generate cost savings for businesses.

To date, the original CCR program has helped 171 Colorado businesses, and leveraged nearly $6 million in private-sector lending. Based on the performance of the original CCR program, Green CCR is projected to serve over 160 businesses and generate $7 million in new lending. The program will be administered by CHFA and use $1 million in DOE funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to fund loan loss reserve contributions.

The second program is the Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) Revolving Loan Program, which is designed to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Colorado. It is supported by GEO’s State Energy Program, funded by the Recovery Act. CHFA has contracted with GEO to administer approximately $13 million for this program.

“Colorado is serving as an engine for the clean energy economy and a laboratory of innovation,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “Recovery Act funding is helping to put in place innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that are creating jobs in Northern Colorado and throughout the state while reducing carbon pollution and helping to shift how America uses energy.”

“CHFA is very pleased to be partnering with GEO and Governor Ritter on these exciting new programs,” said Cris White, CHFA’s CEO and Executive Director. “We look forward to getting these resources into the hands of business owners who can use them to help bring jobs and investment into Colorado.”

Bach Composite Colorado Inc. of Fort Lupton is the first business to benefit from the GEO Revolving Loan Program. Bach will use its $3.258 million loan to support its manufacturing facility and to create jobs. The Fort Lupton facility produces components for Vestas, a wind turbine manufacturer with production plants in Brighton and Pueblo. The loan is supporting the retention and hiring of 150 employees.

“This loan is critical to helping us maintain our cash flow, keep our employees on the payroll and to expand,” said Sabrina McLaughlin, Financial Controller at Bach. “I want to thank Gov. Ritter, his Energy Office, CHFA and the U.S. Department of Energy for stepping up to help us when we really needed assistance.”

Loans made under the GEO Direct Lending Revolving Loan Fund will be in excess of $100,000 and may include, but are not limited to:

  • Large-scale retrofits of buildings, ranging from commercial, multifamily, nonprofit, industrial and other applications;
  • Companies whose products directly impact the renewable energy sector from an economic development basis; or
  • Other unique opportunities to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy.

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