Season 5 • Episode 2

Missouri – On-Bill Inclusive Financing (PAYS)


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Made possible with support from the Sally Mead Hands Foundation.

About Season 5 Episode 2: Missouri – On-Bill Inclusive Financing (PAYS)

For many, conducting an energy audit and installing energy efficient systems can be a financial challenge. Inclusive financing, like the Pay As You Save (PAYS) program, hopes to ease that challenge by allowing homeowners and tenants to pay a monthly charge along with their utility bill, instead of footing the bill up front or taking out a loan.

Learn how this process works, including the benefits of on-bill financing, available funding options, and how your state can get started in this episode of the Rise Up Podcast featuring James Owen, executive director of Renew Missouri.

About Out Guest: James Owen

Growing up on a farm in Missouri, James Owen has used his rural roots experience in becoming a dedicated champion for consumer protection and strategic resource management.

In 2017, he was named Executive Director of Renew Missouri. In this capacity, he’s dedicated to advancing the organization’s goal of positioning Missouri as a leading state in clean energy. His efforts involve policy advocacy, formulation, litigation, public education, as well as outreach initiatives like lobbying and social media.

James holds a BA from Drury University in Springfield and a law degree from the University of Kansas, a licensed attorney in both Kansas and Missouri, allowing him to oversee the legal responsibilities for Renew Missouri. He also serves as an expert witness before the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC). Previously, James was appointed as Public Counsel by Governor Jay Nixon, advocating for the public before the PSC.

Renew Missouri has been leading the charge for a program called Pay As You Save (PAYS), a program designed to help utility customers finance energy efficiency improvements. PAYS stands out from other “on-bill financing” options because it’s not a traditional loan. Instead, you agree to a monthly fee on your bill, and the utility covers the costs of energy-efficient upgrades. The key to PAYS is ensuring that the savings from these upgrades are higher than your monthly fee, so you end up saving without any upfront costs.

Episode Chapters:

00:00 James Owen Introduction and Bio

2:19 James’s career

4:22 Enabling legislation

7:26 Pay as you Save financing

14:11 HOMEs and HERA funding

17:14 Benefits of on-bill financing

18:37 Contractor networks and certification

20:36 Financing the donut hole

23:01 Rural electric co-ops and municipal utilities

27:37 PACE vs PAYS

32:02 Guidance for other states

36:54 Inflation Reduction Act

38:35 Solar in PAYS

41:35 Wrap up

MREA Summer Events

Want to attend hands-on demonstrations and educational workshops focused on renewable energy and sustainable living? Join the MREA at our summer 2024 events in Custer, WI:

Industry Demo Day – Friday, June 21

The Energy Fair – Saturday, June 22


Address: 7558 Deer Rd. Custer, WI 54423
Phone: (715)-592-6595

The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) is a nonprofit organization with the mission to promote renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living through education and demonstration.