The program will provide 2% interest rate loans of $250,000 to $4m to help existing industrial and commercial businesses fund energy-saving improvements to their facilities to cut energy costs, boosting cash flow for business and providing work for contractors performing upgrades.

Projects eligible for loans include upgrades to energy-efficient equipment like heating and air conditioning systems, windows and doors, electrical systems, water heating systems, energy management systems, lighting and insulation and installation of renewable energy systems.

Loans can cover up to 90% of the total costs of a project, which will be evaluated on potential for job creation and retention, sustainable energy savings, cost savings, renewable energy generation capacity, emissions reductions and borrowers will have up to 10 years to repay.

ADECA has selected Abundant Power, a firm that partners with states and municipalities to design and finance energy-efficiency and renewable-energy programs, to administer AlabamaSAVES.

ADECA is establishing the program with $25m from the US Department of Energy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and has secured the additional funding from private-lenders by using $12.5m of the funds to establish a loan-loss reserve and to buy down interest rates.