FAQ: Energy Efficiency Loans for multi-family buildings

Find the answers to frequently asked questions about Energy Efficiency Loans for multi-family buildings below. Please contact us if you can’t find the answer to your question.

What is an Energy Efficiency Loan?
energySMART, a Nicor Gas program, offers Energy Efficiency Loans to our customers for energy efficiency equipment and improvements for multi-family buildings. Customers are able to make their loan payments as part of their monthly Nicor Gas bill. Nicor Gas will collect the regular monthly loan payments until the loan is repaid.

Why are Energy Efficiency Loans only available for high-efficiency upgrades?
Recent legislation, public act 098-0586, allows for financing on energy-efficient equipment. Only equipment listed in our program is eligible for Energy Efficiency Loans.

If a customer is a tenant, but their property owner would like to pay for the project, may the property owner apply for financing, even though the tenant is the utility customer?
No. The building owner must be the customer (with proof of account information) in order to qualify for on-bill financing. Multi-family buildings need to have five to 50 units to qualify.

Is a property manager eligible if they do not own the building or if they do not have Nicor Gas service?
Customers need to own the building and are required to receive utility service to be eligible for these loans.

Does a customer need to provide both utility accounts if they are completing a gas-only or electric-only project?
No. If a customer is doing an all-electric or all-gas project, they only need to provide the relevant utility account information. 

Is there an application fee for Energy Efficiency Loans?
There is no application fee for Energy Efficiency Loans. Nicor Gas customers interested in financing their energy efficiency improvements are strongly encouraged to apply.

Do I have to complete a separate application for my rebate?
Yes, you receive your rebate by completing an online or paper rebate application available at nicorgasrebates.com.  Alternatively, you may be eligible to receive an instant discount from your contractor. Your application for financing does not include an application for your rebate.

What if the energy efficiency-related work needs to be installed in less than 24 hours?
During the pre-approval application, indicate that it is an emergency. On average, a response for loan approval is given within 30 minutes if it is an emergency.

What happens if the cost of the energy efficiency work changes?
The contractor will need to send the lender an updated contract or change order and the lender will send an updated set of loan documents for the customer to sign and return before the lender releases payment to the contractor.

Can I pay down my loan by sending extra money each month?
If you pay more than your total monthly utility bill, the overpayment will be applied as a credit to your utility balance and cannot be used to pay down your loan balance. You can pay off your loan balance earlier than the term of the loan. Contact Nicor Gas at 888.642.6748 to obtain your loan payoff amount.

What happens if I don’t pay my entire Nicor Gas bill each month?
Partial payments are applied equally between your Nicor Gas service charges and your loan installment. Please be aware that incomplete payments could result in late fees, referral to collection agencies and/or possible disruption of your natural gas service.