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The new Ohio Efficiency Resource Fund provides otherwise hard-to-get financing for small and medium-sized businesses to make energy-efficiency improvements, with no upfront costs and no risk. This innovative approach bridges the funding gap that has stymied small- and mid-sized retrofit projects--thousands of buildings statewide. Here's how it works: The Fund signs an Efficiency Services Agreement (ESA) for up to 10 years with a building owner, purchases the new equipment, and hires contractors to design, install, measure, and maintain the energy-saving improvements. As a result, the customer sees a reduction in its total utility bill, while the building becomes more functional, productive, and comfortable. The Fund recoups its investment by billing customers for their actual realized efficiency gains. Since the useful life of the energy-efficiency equipment continues well beyond the life of the contract, customers continue to save for years to come.