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NOPEC STEP Loan Program

Financing for smaller energy-efficiency projects

STEP Loan Program

STEP (Savings Through Efficiency Program) will provide loans of $5,000 to $100,000 for eligible projects. This loan program provides 3% fixed-rate financing for up to 10 years, giving commercial property owners up-front capital to complete property improvements that will reduce energy costs. It also provides greater, long-term property value and rental benefits. In other words, the project pays for itself! Commercial properties include public and private sector facilities, including non-profit, retail, office, industrial and apartment buildings with five or more units.

Are you Eligible?

If you are a member of a NOPEC community, and are interested in completing one of these projects,

Energy efficiency projects:

  • Lighting
  • HVAC
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Roofing
  • Insulation.

Renewable energy projects:

  • Geothermal
  • Solar-photovoltaic (roof-top or ground-mounted)
  • Solar-thermal water heating systems.

Then you may be eligible!

If your proposed project saves energy and isn’t listed here, talk to us about it. It may qualify.

There are several ways to check if your property is eligible for our STEP loan.

  1. Look for NOPEC as your supplier on your energy bill.
  2. Call NOPEC. We can check if we supply your facility.
  3. Call your local community. Your local community representative can contact us to verify that information

Qualifying for a STEP Loan

Any commercial property owner is eligible if the property is part of the NOPEC program. This includes for-profit and non-profit, multi-family (more than four units), retail, commercial, industrial and government properties

Frequently Asked Questions

You can finance improvements for multiple properties. They do not have to be contiguous.

NOPEC will finance projects of $5,000-$100,000 for up to 10 years through the STEP loan program at a fixed interest rate of only 3%. The term will depend, in part, on the amount being financed, the useful-life of the asset(s) financed and the projected savings from the improvements as determined by an energy assessment/audit. (If your project is above that threshold, talk to us. We may have other options for you to consider.) All eligible costs can be financed.

Yes, borrowers can use qualified, licensed contractors of their choice to complete the improvements.

Complete the NOPEC STEP loan application form at It includes basic information about the borrower, the property (or properties), planned improvements, costs and timing. Or, contact Norma Fox Horwitz, special projects manager, at 440-249-7829.

There are several options to choose from, including two that are professional certifications. These include individuals with an ASHRAE or CEM certification. ASHRAE stands for American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. CEM is a Certified Energy Manager. If your contractor or engineer does not have either of these qualifications, we encourage you to talk with us about the qualifications.

In most cases loans will typically close within 60-90 days of submitting a complete application package.

There are no job creation requirements. However, adding new jobs would be welcomed!

STEP Inquiry Form

Have Questions? Unsure if you Qualify?

This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer. 

Apply Today!

Still not sure? Fill out our inquiry form above

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