The Wise Act

The Wise Act
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The Water Infrastructure Savings Enabling (WISE) Act (P.L. 2017, c.71) requires local governments wishing to independently finance an environmental infrastructure project costing at least $1 million to present a copy of the Financing Cost Estimate (FCE) Report to the Director of the Division of Local Government Services or the Local Finance Board, respectively, as part of their bonding review process. The FCE is not required to be submitted by LGUs who intend to finance their environmental projects through the Water Bank.

The WISE Act also requires I-Bank and DEP to provide applicants seeking to finance at least $1 million to construct an environmental infrastructure project with:

  • A description of the priority system used by the DEP in awarding financing under the Water Bank, and
  • A Financing Cost Estimate (FCE) comparison of the cost of financing the project through the I-Bank and DEP's joint Financing Program versus independently through the LGU's own bond process.

The I-Bank provides a WISE Act Calculator that develops the FCE on its website at https://wise.h2loans.com. To generate the FCE Report, complete the requested information and click "Calculate Report". The FCE Report will be produced immediately and be available for printing. It includes a savings estimate and yearly debt service numbers for both financing options.

Remember: the WISE Act calculator is not a commitment to secure financing, but rather a tool to calculate an estimate of the cost of financing. When you enter your project information into H2LOans, the Water Bank's application portal itself, you will be able to enter actual numbers.

The I-Bank estimates that using the Water Bank to finance green infrastructure projects saves the average borrower in NJ approximately 40% over independent financing.

Besides calculating estimated savings, the WISE Act Calculator provides an estimate of a proposed project's annual debt service and, as such, is a valuable tool for financial professionals. Using the WISE Act Calculator does not require a commitment to borrow.

If you're not using the Water Bank for your infrastructure projects, you're doing your ratepayers a disservice. There are only a couple of extra steps you have to take. - Water Bank Applicant

The Wise Act
Next: Bond Counsel
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