Residential Home Loan Proposal

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					                               CITY OF GAINESVILLE
                          GAINESVILLE REGIONAL UTILITIES


                                    December 27, 2006

The City of Gainesville, Florida, doing business as Gainesville Regional Utilities
(hereinafter referred to as “GRU” or “the Utility”) is implementing a variety of new energy
efficiency programs to help reduce customer energy usage. One of these programs is
the implementation of a low interest loan program that would allow customers to borrow
money at a low interest rate to make energy efficiency improvements in their homes.
GRU is seeking proposals from qualified lending institutions in response to this Request
for Proposals (“RFP”) to serve as the Financial Lender, Loan Consultant, and
Administrator for this loan program. The lending institution will work closely with GRU to
develop an application and loan approval process, evaluate borrower’s credit
worthiness, administer the technical aspects of designing financing arrangements, and
assist in representing the Utility’s interests in marketing the loans to residential electric
utility customers. Based on research, GRU estimates about $1 million (I think we should
put a number, but I am not sure what that number should be) in annual loans in FY 07.
For loans made under the program, GRU will subsidize the Financial Lender’s market
interest rate through a lump sum payment to the Financial Lender upon closing. The
Financial Lender’s market interest rate for program loans shall be reduced to 3%,
subject to change by GRU.

Five (5) copies of the Proposal should be sent to and received no later than      p.m.,
local time, January , 2007, at the following address:

                       Gainesville Regional Utilities
                       Purchasing Division
                       P.O. Box 147117, Station A-130
                       Gainesville, FL 32614-7117

or hand delivered (by firm or express courier) to the address given below no later than
2:00 p.m., local time, January      , 2007.

                       Gainesville Regional Utilities
                       Purchasing Division
                       301 S.E. 4th Avenue
                       Gainesville, FL 32601

Submittals should indicate on the envelope and cover sheet the following


                       City of Gainesville, Florida d/b/a Gainesville Regional Utilities

                       Request for Proposal for Energy Efficiency Low Interest Loans

1.0   PURPOSE.

      The purpose of this Request for Proposal (RFP) is to retain local financial lending institutions to
      develop a residential energy efficiency loan program. The financial lending institution will develop
      the technical aspects of designing financing arrangements and instruments, and assist in
      representing GRU’s interests in providing loans for its residential electric customer base to
      implement energy efficiency improvements.

      The following list provides the home improvements that are allowable under the loan program:

       Central Air Conditioning Systems (15 SEER or Higher)

       Weatherization (Caulking/Weather Stripping)

       A/C Duct Leak repair or Duct Replacement

       Energy Star Refrigerators

       Energy Star front loading clothes washers

       Windows and Glass Door Replacements (Multiple Glazed, Low E, E-Star or Better)

       Door and Window Jam Repair/Replacement

       Window Sash Kit Replacements

       Exterior Door Replacements (Insulated Metal or Fiberglass)

       Solar Water Heaters

       Solar Electric (Photo Voltaic) PV Systems

       High Efficiency Energy Star Electric Heat Pumps 15 SEER / 8.2 HSPF or better

       Insulation (attic, wall, floor, duct, rim joist, knee wall)

       Heating & Hot Water Piping Insulation

       Insulated Siding

       Programmable Thermostats

       Water Heater Replacement (Electric/Natural Gas/Tankless Natural Gas)

       Reflective Coatings (Roof, Windows, Doors)

       Attic Radiant Barrier Reflective Material

      Under its home rule powers and pursuant to its Charter, the City owns and operates a combined
      utilities system (the “System”), which provides the City and certain unincorporated areas of
      Alachua County with electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, and telecommunications service.
      Natural gas service is also provided to retail customers within the corporate limits of the City of
      Alachua. All facilities of the System are owned by the City, and all facilities, except the City’s
      undivided ownership interest in Crystal River 3, a nuclear powered electric generating unit, are
      operated by the City. The System is governed by the City Commission.

      The water and wastewater systems were established in 1891 to provide water and wastewater
      service to the City. The water system has a nominal capacity of 54 Mgd and the wastewater
      system has a treatment capacity of 22.4 Mgd average annual daily flow.

      The electric system was established in 1912 to provide street lighting and electric service to the
      downtown area. Continuous expansion of the electric system and its generating capacity has
      resulted in the electric system having a maximum net summer generating capacity of 611 MW.
      The natural gas system was acquired in 1990 to provide gas distribution throughout the City.

      The telecommunications system, GRUCom, was established in 1995 to provide communication
      services to the Gainesville area in a manner that would minimize duplication of facilities,
      maximize interconnectivity, simplify access, and promote the evolution of new technologies and
      business opportunities. GRUCom operates a state-of-the art fiber optic network and current
      product lines include telecommunications transport services, Internet access services,
      communication tower antenna space leasing services, and public safety radio services.


      The Financial Lending Institution must provide a full scope of loan services. The services shall
      include, but not be limited to the following:

              1. Developing financing structure and options to enable GRU electric customers to
                 obtain low interest (defined below) loans and implement energy efficient home
                 improvements, based on the following criteria:
                      Loans between $1000 - $10,000
                      5 Year Loan Term
                      3% effective fixed rate to borrower, with GRU subsidizing difference between
                          Financial Lender’s market interest rate and 3% loan program rate through
                          lump sum payment
                      Provisions for qualifying high risk low income (defined by HUD guidelines as
                          80% of median household income) customers

              2. Providing general consulting services to GRU residential electric customers relating
                 to the lending institution’s loan application services and approval process.

              3.   Notifying GRU Customer and GRU of Loan Approvals/Denials.

              4.   Providing Joint GRU/Lender approval notification to Customers.

              5.   Providing Administration and Billing related to GRU electric customer loan.

              6.   Providing recommendations for and assist in implementing a favorable marketing
                   program to generate significant demand from GRU electric customer base for
                   Energy Efficient Loan Program..

              7.   Consulting as needed with staff regarding various aspects of the loan program
                   including loan eligibility requirements and pre-approved contractors.
              8.   Providing verification of measures installed or work completed.

              9.   Providing flexible repayment options such as electronic bill pay or automatic draft.
               10. Providing periodic analysis and reporting of loan program to GRU Marketing Staff as
                   appropriate for long-range planning purposes. Including but not limited to:
                      a) Number of applications received categorized by credit segment
                      b) Applications turned down
                      c) Number of applications received from Low Income customers
                      d) Total dollars lent broken down by credit segment and Income segment

               11. Updating GRU Staff on changes in legislation and regulations affecting energy
                   efficiency loan financings.


      Proposers shall include the following information with their Proposal:

          1.      A description of the loan terms and services the firm is capable of providing for GRU
                  residential electric utility customers. Include an explanation of how these terms and
                  services will best assist GRU’s customers. Including but not limited to:
                  a. Application process
                  b. Process by which verification of installation or completion of services will be
                  c. Repayment options
                  d. Description of security if applicable

          2.      Completion of loan worksheet (Attachment 1). Additionally, proposers must indicate
                  the underwriting guidelines they propose to use in approving loan applications
                  through the program. GRU prefers a Financial Lender willing to provide financing with
                  a minimum score of 600. Proposers must indicate their willingness to provide
                  financing, and under what terms, for various credit scores as outlined in the attached
                  loan worksheet, as well as all other criteria used in underwriting program loans.
                  Proposer may indicate their proposed cost to GRU for the interest rate subsidy in
                  terms of points paid at closing. Underwriting guidelines may be modified over the
                  term of the program upon mutual agreement between GRU and the Financial Lender.

          3.      The names, qualifications, experience and office locations of each professional who
                  will be assisting the GRU Customer through the loan process. Provide a statement
                  as to local availability and the degree of accessibility to staff for each professional.

          4.      A statement of the lending institution’s understanding of the work to be done and how
                  resources will be provided to best serve the Utility and its customer.

          5.      Marketing Partnership – Note any marketing support that will be provided including
                  but not limited to development and production of collateral, Point of-Purchase in
                  lender facilities, website link/support, inserts in bank statements or newsletters,
                  events/community meetings, incentives or referrals (contractors, employees,
                  consumers). Include cost sharing ratio or total dollar amount willing to dedicate to the
                  marketing of this program.

          6.      Any other additional information of significance and importance such as other
                  community-based loan programs or promotions which would be of value in the
                  selection process.

      Proposed Timeline of Events
            Issuance of RFP                                                       December, ? 2006
            Deadline for Submission of Questions                                  January, ? 2007
            Proposal Due Date                                                     January, ? 2007
            Award                                                                 January, ? 2007

      10.1    All questions about the meaning or intent of the RFP are to be directed to the Purchasing
              Representative who has signed the RFP. Interpretations or clarifications considered
              necessary in response to such questions will be issued by Addenda mailed or delivered
              to all parties recorded as having received the RFP. Questions received less than seven
              (7) days prior to the closing date may not be answered. Only questions answered by
              formal written Addenda will be binding. Oral and other interpretations or clarifications will
              be without legal effect.

      10.2    Addenda may also be issued to modify the RFP as deemed advisable by the Purchasing

      10.3    Addenda issued by the City prior to the opening date shall be binding as if written into the
              RFP. Proposers are required to acknowledge receipt of the addenda by providing a copy
              of the Addendum Form with the proposal.


              All proposals must be in the name of the Lending Institution.

              The Proposal shall contain an acknowledgment of receipt of all Addenda.

              Unless stated otherwise, Proposers must submit detailed and itemized financing
              solutions related to their low interest energy efficiency loan proposal.

              Only one proposal from any individual, firm, corporation, organization or agency under
              the same or different name shall be considered. Should it appear to the City that any
              Proposer has interest in more than one proposal, all proposals in which such Proposer
              has interest shall be rejected.

              Responses to this RFP upon receipt by the City, become public records subject to the
              provisions of Chapter 119, Florida Statutes, Florida's Public Records Law. Should a
              Proposer feel that any portion or all of its response is exempt from the Florida Public
              Records Law, its response should clearly assert such exemption and the specific legal
              authority for the asserted exemption.

              Proposals will be available for inspection after such time as an award is recommended or
              within ten (10) days after closing date, whichever is earlier.

              The Proposer, by affixing the authorized signature to the Proposal, declares that the
              proposal is made without any previous understanding, agreement, or connections with
              any persons, firms, or corporations making a proposal on the same items and that it is in
              all respects fair and in good faith without any outside control, collusion or fraud.

              No City Commissioner, other City officer, or City employee may directly or indirectly own
              more than five (5) percent of the total assets or capital stock of the bidding entity, nor directly
              or indirectly benefit by more than five (5) percent from the profits or emoluments of this
              contract. [For purposes of this paragraph, indirect ownership or benefit does not include
              ownership or benefit by a spouse or minor child.]


      Five (5) copies of the proposal shall either be delivered to Gainesville Regional Utilities, Purchasing
      Division, 301 S.E. 4th Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601, by 2:00 p.m., local time. January, 2007 or
       mailed to Gainesville Regional Utilities, Purchasing Division, P.O. Box 147117, Station A130,
       Gainesville, FL 32614-7117, but must be received by 2:00 p.m., local time, on January, 2007.
       Facsimiles of proposals received prior to the due date and time are acceptable, but they must be
       followed up with an original document within two business days of the RFP due date.

               Proposals may be mailed to:
                      Utilities Purchasing
                      Gainesville Regional Utilities
                      P.O. Box 147117, Station A-130
                      Gainesville, Florida 32614-7117

                       or delivered to:
                       Utilities Purchasing
                       Gainesville Regional Utilities
                       Third Floor Administration Building
                       301 S.E. 4th Avenue
                       Gainesville, Florida 32601

       Proposals must be clearly labeled:


       13.1    Proposals may be modified or withdrawn by an appropriate document duly executed (in
               the manner that a proposal must be executed) and delivered to the place where
               proposals are to be submitted at any time prior to the opening date.

       13.2    After closing date, corrections in the proposals shall be permitted: 1) only to the extent
               that the Proposer can show by clear and convincing evidence a mistake of a
               nonjudgmental character was made; 2) the nature of the mistake is evident; and 3) the
               proposal price intended is evident. After the closing date, no changes in proposal prices
               or other provisions of the proposal prejudicial to the interest of the City or fair competition
               shall be permitted. In lieu of proposal correction, an apparent low evaluated Proposer
               alleging a material mistake of fact may be permitted to withdraw its proposal, at the
               option of the City if: (a) the mistake is clearly evident on the face of the proposal but the
               intended correct proposal is not similarly evident; or, (b) the Proposer submits evidence
               which clearly and convincingly demonstrates that a good faith mistake (without
               negligence of the Proposer) was made.


       Costs for developing a response to this RFP are entirely the obligation of the Proposer and shall
       not be charged in any manner to the City.


       If a firm in receipt of this RFP does not wish to submit a proposal for this work, please advise
       Utilities Purchasing at (352) 334-3400, Ext. 1240, of the firm’s decision and reason for not
       submitting a proposal no later than the stated proposal submittal date. Failure to respond may
       cause removal of the firm's name from future projects.


       16.1.   The City reserves the right to reject any and all Proposals, to waive any and all
               informalities or irregularities, and the right to disregard all nonconforming, nonresponsive,
               unbalanced or conditional Proposals. Also, the City reserves the right to reject the
               Proposal of any Proposer if the City believes that it would not be in its best interest to
               make an award to that Proposer, whether because the Proposal is not responsive or the
               Proposer is unqualified or of doubtful financial ability or fails to meet any other pertinent
               standard or criteria established by the City. Discrepancies in the multiplication of units of
               work and unit prices will be resolved in favor of the unit prices. Discrepancies between
               the indicated sum of any column of figures and the correct sum thereof will be resolved in
               favor of the correct sum.

       16.3    If the contract is to be awarded, the City will give the successful proposer a Notice of
               Award within TEN(10) days after the day of the proposal opening.

       16.4    As a result of this RFP, the City intends to enter into a contract with the successful
               Proposer. The proposal will not constitute a contract but, rather, will supply provisions
               which will, if accepted, be incorporated by reference into the contract between the
               parties. All material submitted with the proposal shall be considered a part of the
               proposal and will be incorporated into the contract to the extent accepted by the City.
               Responses to questions that occur during the proposal evaluation period may be
               included as part of the contract. The contract awarded under this RFP will require
               approval of the Gainesville City Commission.

       16.5   Any contract negotiated as a result of this RFP shall be interpreted under and governed by
              the laws of the State of Florida.

       16.6    If GRU is unsuccessful in its negotiations with the selected firm, it will terminate such
               negotiations and may initiate negotiations with the firm determined to have the next best
               evaluated proposal. GRU reserves the right to accept any part or all of the proposer’s fee
               schedule and to negotiate changes accordingly.


       All questions about the meaning or intent of the RFP must be made in writing and directed to:

                       P.O. Box 147117, Station A-130
                       Gainesville, FL 32614-7117
                       (352) 393-1253
                       Fax: (352) 334-2989

       Interpretations or clarifications considered necessary in response to such questions will be issued
       by Addenda and mailed or delivered to all parties recorded as having received the RFP. Only
       questions answered by formal written addenda will be binding. Oral and other interpretations or
       clarifications will be without legal effect.

       Addenda may also be issued to modify the proposal documents as deemed necessary by GRU’s
       Purchasing Division.

       Addenda issued by the City before the proposal opening shall be binding as if written into the
       RFP. Proposers shall acknowledge receipt of the same with the proposal.


       18.1    Late Submittals: Any responses submitted after the due date specified in the RFP will not
               be considered and will be returned.

       18.2    Rejection of Submittals: the City reserves the right to reject any and all submittals received in
               response to the RFP as determined to be in the best interest of the City. Non-acceptance of
               any proposal will not imply any criticism of the proposal or convey an indication that the
               proposal was deficient. Non-acceptance of any proposal will mean that another proposal
               was deemed more advantageous to the City.
       18.3    All materials submitted in response to the RFP become the property of the City and will be
               returned only at the option of the City.

       18.4    The RFP solicitation process is in accordance with and subject to the City of Gainesville’s
               Purchasing Policies and GRU’s Purchasing Procedures. Participants in this RFP solicitation
               may protest the RFP specifications or award recommendation in accordance with Section 23
               of the GRU Purchasing Procedures Manual.


       Except as otherwise prohibited by law, the City has the right to use any and all ideas presented in
       response to this RFP, whether amended or not. Selection or rejection of the proposal does not affect
       this right.


       A person or affiliate who has been placed on the convicted vendor list following a conviction for a
       public entity crime may not submit a bid on a contract to provide any goods or services to a public
       entity, may not submit a bid on a contract with a public entity for the construction or repair of a public
       building or public work, may not submit bids on leases of real property to a public entity, may not be
       awarded or perform work as a contractor, supplier, subcontractor, or consultant under a contract with
       any public entity, and may not transact business with any public entity in excess of the threshold
       amount provided in Section 287.017, for Category Two for a period of 36 months from the date of
       being placed on the convicted vendor list.


       Proposers shall be responsible for any violation of the current policies regarding
       debarment/suspension/termination which have been issued by the Utilities Purchasing Department,
       a copy of which is attached hereto and is incorporated herein by reference.
                           Attachment 1


 Customer         Lender’s      Points required     Program
Credit Range   unsubsidized      for buy-down     Interest Rate
                interest rate

  > 720                                               3%

680 – 720                                             3%

640 – 679                                             3%

  < 640                                               3%

Description: Residential Home Loan Proposal document sample