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Pennsylvania Borough Offers Small Business Natural Gas Loans

A Pennsylvania borough said it will expand a financing program for the purchase and installation of appliances fueled by natural gas, by providing loans with 0% interest.

In a statement, the Borough of Chambersburg said its town council voted Sept. 12 to make up to $200,000 per year available for a new Commercial Main Street Energy Efficiency Financing Program, which would be available for commercial customers. The borough, one of two in the state that operate a municipal natural gas utility, currently has a Main Street Energy Efficiency Financing Program available for residential customers.

The borough said that while natural gas from the Marcellus Shale costs about one-fourth of the price of oil or electric, small businesses often struggle to come up with the up-front costs for conversion.

"We are pleased to expand our Energy Efficiency Financing Program to small businesses in the Borough," said Borough Manager Jeffrey Stonehill. "Small businesses drive the economy by hiring workers and bringing economic vitality to our community.

"We can assist putting money back into the pockets of small business owners by converting their properties to clean burning energy efficient natural gas appliances. This will ultimately grow Chambersburg and grow their businesses."

According to the borough, the maximum loan available to commercial customers is $10,000, with a maximum term of 60 months. Loans are available for the purchase of natural gas-fueled furnaces, boilers, water heaters and cooking appliances, provided they will replace non-gas units. A monthly fee of $5 will be charged, and loan repayments added to the customer's monthly utility bill.

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