Energy Savings

Top tips for discussing energy efficiency financing with customers

Understanding the cash flow upside

By: | November 3, 2017

“What if I told you that you can take advantage of Xcel Energy rebates, receive brand new equipment, pay nothing out of pocket, and actually have more money in your pocket every month than if you took no action at all?”

From a sales perspective, this sounds like a pretty good value proposition to a client, doesn’t it? While every project may not yield cash flow for your customer, with Xcel Energy incentives and HBC Energy Capital energy efficiency financing, many projects can do just that. You can get started here. So how do you discuss financing with your customer when you aren’t a “finance person”? Here are some of the top tips regarding discussing financing with your customer:

In the world of sales, it is always suggested that you mention the availability of financing early and often. Say it early to reduce your customers’ number one stress: “How am I going to pay for this?” Say it often because it may get lost among all of the other great information about efficient equipment upgrades that your customers are hearing about for the first time.

Requesting an energy efficiency financing estimate from HBC Energy Capital will provide you with a simple and easy to understand cash flow analysis to help your customer understand the economics of financing their project.

To really simplify things, there are two types of projects, those that cash flow, and those that do not. Here are the value propositions to highlight to your customers in each scenario:

Cash Flow Positive Projects

When the project cash flows, the value proposition to your customer is the following:

• Customer will pay nothing up front

• Customer will have more money in pocket every month

• Customer receives brand new equipment for facility

• Customer can take advantage of qualifying Xcel Energy incentives

Projects that Do Not Cash Flow

When the project doesn’t cash flow, the value proposition to your customer is the following:

• Zero out-of-pocket. Your customer is still paying nothing up front for brand new equipment

• Customer does not have to touch capital budget

• Customer is making the smart choice by reducing operating costs over the long term through reduced utility bills

• Customer can take advantage of qualifying Xcel Energy rebates

Finally, many of us hear the terms “good debt” and “bad debt”, how do those terms apply to financing an energy efficiency project?

Bad debt: Bad debt is debt that one cannot afford to pay back, which can ultimately have a negative effect on one’s business or personal credit ratings. Customers should always evaluate their own ability to take on debt, particularly in a project scenario that is not producing energy cost savings that meet or exceed monthly debt payments. Many seeking unaffordable debt are ultimately not approved for financing because lenders can spot red flags during underwriting.

Good debt: Good debt ultimately creates value for the borrower. A debt on an energy efficiency project that produces positive cash flows for the customer can be a form of good debt because it improves the value of their business and/or real estate assets, improves conditions for workers/customers, and reduces total monthly operating expenses because it saves more on energy costs than it costs in monthly finance payments. In addition, it can help a customer to take advantage of utility rebate offers that may not always be available.

If you’d like to discuss selling with energy efficiency financing, or would like a free, easy to read, no obligation financing estimate for your energy efficiency project today, contact HBC Energy Capital at 720-724-7673, or email us at

For more information on our Energy Efficiency Financing program for Trade Partners, visit our website.


A self-professed energy nerd, Paul loves to explore how technology trends are bringing convenience and surprising benefits to our lives.