How$mart® is a utility run program through Midwest Energy that offers financing for energy efficiency improvements for residential, commercial, and industrial customers all over Kansas. Midwest Energy is the first utility in the country to voluntarily adopt such a program. Energy efficiency improvements through How$mart® includes upgrades such as installation, sealing, and new heating and cooling systems. The upgrades are repaid through the energy savings on their monthly utility bill.
How$mart® is an On-Bill Tariff program because the program is tied to the location and not to the original owner. If the building is sold, the next owner takes on responsibility for the loan repayments while also inheriting the benefits of the program. This is different from an on-bill loan, which follows the customer if they move.
Charges on the customer’s monthly bill cannot be more than 90% of estimated monthly savings. This guarantees that the customer will be paying less than they were before participating in the program. In order to participate, the customer does not need to pass a credit check; only good utility billing history is required. It is important for the customers to know that if payment is not received, their utilities may be turned off.
Throughout the years, Midwest Energy has collaborated with multiple corporations and programs to provide investment capital at low interest rates. Although they currently do not have access to low-cost money, they continue to effectively finance energy efficiency improvements.
Since their launch in 2008, more than $4.4 million has been invested to finance improvements for over 700 customers. These improvements have saved over 1.5 million kilowatt hours in electricity savings per year, and over 200,000 therms of natural gas. About $53 per month is saved by the average How$mart® participant.
More information regarding on-bill financing can be found in the Clean Economy Knowledge Center
On-Bill Financing in Kansas and Oregon webinar archive