UPenn PlacePennSEF assists governmental and non-profit entities to identify, procure and finance sustainable energy and water improvements (including onsite clean energy generation).

Who can participate? Organizations that are eligible for tax-exempt financing.

  • Public agencies
  • Counties and Cities
  • Local governments
  • Public authorities (including energy, sewer and water)
  • School districts
  • Public universities
  • Correctional facilities
  • Non-profithospital and health facilities
  • Private schools and universities

Types of Projects

Any energy conservation measures (including solar generation, energy storage and microgrids) or water savings measures that generate savings sufficient to pay for themselves are likely to be eligible.  Examples of such measures include lighting; building envelope improvements, such as windows and insulation; HVAC systems; advanced building controls; and water savings measures; cogeneration facilities, solar generation, energy storage, and microgrids.

The Program can develop/work with financing structures that enable non-profits to benefit from the tax credits associated with solar and other clean energy sources.

Size of Projects

The Program seeks projects involving two million dollars or greater in capital cost for retrofits. It can accommodate a limited number of smaller projects of approximately five hundred thousand dollars.

Credit Ratings

For Participants who have previously issued bonds with credit ratings (e.g., S&P or Moody’s) or would be eligible to do so, the Program offers important savings through the pooling of those with identical credits.  The Program can make available non-bond financing to Participants who are financially stable but do not currently have credit ratings.

8 steps to participate in and reap the benefits of PennSEF

  1. Sign a non-binding letter of interest (LOI) and discuss your goals with the PennSEF team
  2. Contact the Program for discussions and face-to-face meetings with FREE Team members regarding concerns you might have.
  3. Provide pre-qualified ESCOs with access to your site, facilities staff, and energy and water bills
  4. Select an ESCO to perform a no-cost, pre-contract audit and present an initial proposal.  For government Participants, PennSEF provides a model simplified process that satisfies procurement requirements.
  5. Sign a guaranteed savings agreement with your selected ESCO that includes an investment grade audit, a construction proposal, a savings guarantee, and a proposal for measuring and reporting savings each quarter
  6. Accept the proposal if it meets your needs
  7. Approve all work before paying the ESCO and know exactly how all equipment isregularly checked to ensure performance specifications are met
  8. Participate in verification of your financial savings over a period not to exceed the payoff of all capital plus debt costs

Eligible Participants and Measures

Eight Steps to Participate

Program-Qualified Companies