Lawton Loans Return for FY22
Low rates and favorable terms make energy improvements a no-brainer investment
The Jane E. Lawton Loan fund is a perennially popular mechanism for financing energy performance upgrades in Maryland buildings. Offered by the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) since 2014, Lawton loans can be issued to a wide range of borrowers that include State and local government agencies, school systems, community colleges, non-profits, and commercial businesses. Lawton is a revolving loan fund, in that payments from earlier loan activity replenish the balance from which future loans are issued.
Typical energy upgrades eligible for Lawton loan funding include interior and exterior lighting, space heating and cooling, domestic water heating, building control automation, building envelope improvements, and more. While many borrowers seek to improve existing structures, borrowers can also obtain Lawton loans to finance the incremental cost of new construction measures that exceed standard energy performance codes.
The Lawton program offers finance at terms that are usually below market-rate alternatives. Loan duration is tailored to match the payback of the assets being financed, up to a maximum of 13 years. The cost of capital is 1% simple annual amortization for non-State agencies and 0% for State agencies. A variety of State agencies apply every year for Lawton funds to implement energy improvements, taking a large bite out of the State’s annual utility bills, which cost taxpayers over a half million dollars per day. Recent borrowing agencies include the State’s university system, offices managed by the Department of General Services, the Stadium Authority, and numerous Maryland Department of Transportation and Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services sites across the state .
The Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) cycle of the Jane E. Lawton Conservation Loan Program is now open and accepting applications. A total of $2,175,000 is available in FY22. During the first six months of the fiscal year, State agencies can take advantage of exclusive access to a $1,200,000 set-aside; and, simultaneously, non-profits, local governments, and qualified Maryland businesses can have access to an allowance of $975,000. Of that amount, $220,000 will be reserved for non-profit organizations for the first three months of the year. After the first three months, the non-profit reservation is lifted. After six months, the set-asides for State agencies versus all other sectors are lifted so that applicants may apply for the remaining, co-mingled balance on a first-come, first-served basis.
Additional information about the program, including the application, can be found here. Please contact program manager David Giusti at firstname.lastname@example.org or (410) 913-2387, or call 1-800-72-ENERGY if you have other questions about MEA. State agencies may contact program manager Christopher Russell at email@example.com or (443) 908-1767.