The Hoosier Efficiency Loan (HELP) program will make revolving, low-interest loans from $50,000 to $500,000 to fund a variety of energy efficiency upgrades and retrofits to the facilities of qualifying applicants.

Supported financially through the American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009, the loan program has $2m available through the end of 2010. Hoosier companies have until May 24, 2010, to apply for these loans.

For commercial customers, to qualify for the loan program, proposed project facility must be at least 30,000sqft and have annual energy expenditures of at least $30,000. Applicant must be the entity responsible for payment of utility bills.

While for industrial customers, the proposed project facility must have annual energy expenditures of at least $100,000. The company must meet the definition of industry by having a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) designation of 22, 31-33, 48, 49 and applicant must be the entity responsible for payment of utility bills.

For eligible projects to qualify, the project must be located in Indiana and must be in a building (or in a number of buildings) owned by applicant. In addition, the project must meet one or more of the conditions such as: demonstrate measurable improvements in energy efficiency; result in a reduction in energy demand; and implement an energy recycling process, such as waste-heat recovery.

The project must use existing commercially-available technologies and must be limited to activities that have been previously approved under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or are otherwise categorically exempt from further NEPA review. The project must have a simple payback period of 10 years or less.

Doug Petitt, vice president of marketing and conservation at Vectren, said: ”This loan program will help our commercial and industrial customers in Indiana lower energy consumption by making critical energy efficiency upgrades to their buildings.”