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Residential Loan Program Process Evaluation


In 2003, the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) developed and implemented the Residential Loan Program (RLP) to secure a stable source for residential energy conservation loans. Through this program, vendors promote high efficiency equipment options to their consumers by offering loans for qualifying equipment at reduced rates. To date these loans have been used primarily to finance window and HVAC equipment installations.

In May 2005, BPA contracted with ECONorthwest to conduct a process evaluation of the RLP to determine how well the program is performing. Major tasks for this evaluation include:
  • A literature review of existing RLP materials;
  • Literature review and interviews with project managers for loan programs in other regions;
  • Interviews with BPA and First Mutual Bank staff involved with the RLP;
  • Interviews with participating and nonparticipating vendors; and
  • Interviews with participating and nonparticipating utilities.

The purpose of the data collection effort was to gather information on how well the program was being implemented and to assess coordination across the different entities involved with the RLP. In addition, these interviews were used to support evaluation goals of identifying program successes as well as market barriers, to elicit ideas on how these barriers should be addressed, and finally to make recommendations to improve the program.

It is important to note that this report presents the results of a process evaluation where opinions are solicited from a wide range of people having different roles in the RLP. The purpose of this report is to report these perceptions and opinions as accurately as possible as they were provided to the evaluation team. Because of the different roles and perspectives on the program, opinions and perceptions of the RLP will sometimes differ across the groups interviewed. The final conclusions and recommendations are developed as part of the evaluation and are derived from these different perspectives.

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