In late July, Governor Walker signed HB 374 into law at the home of Karl Kassel, mayor of the Fairbanks North Star Borough. The new law will enable utilities to finance energy improvements for customers by adding line items to their utility bills. (Photo Courtesy of Representative Adam Wool’s office)

Utility companies will soon be able to loan customers money for energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy systems by tacking on a charge to their monthly utility bill.

It’s a form of lending called “on-bill financing” that has been used elsewhere in the country, and was made possible in Alaska by a bill signed into law by Governor Walker last month.

The utility loans could cover a range of upgrades including solar panels, higher efficiency appliances and switches in heating…