St. Lucie County, FL, January 8, 2016 –
The Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF) closed the calendar year by completing its 500th project since inception in St. Lucie County, Florida, in the summer of 2010. SELF is an independent, nonprofit, community-based lending organization focused on energy efficiency, clean energy, storm protection, and water conservation. SELF provides homeowners and businesses with building science expertise, project management, and low cost capital to help them identify and finance assorted property improvements. Typical projects include: (1) roof repair and replacement; (2) high efficiency windows, doors, and, air conditioners; (3) solar water heaters and solar PV systems; (4) LED lights; and, more. The nonprofit has been expanding statewide over the last few years, including a 300% increase in lending activity last year. SELF has now financed more than $4 million of home improvements in 44 jurisdictions, and Jeffrey and Rosemary George of Seminole County, Florida, are the 500th participant in the loan fund.
The George family had already made multiple home energy improvements through energy efficiencies and solar water heating and they needed SELF to help them finance a portion of their new 6 kW solar PV system. Mr. George said, “We wanted to be as a close to net zero as possible”, meaning their family home would produce enough solar power from the sun to meet all of their household energy demands. The home remains connected to the electrical grid but the homeowners are credited by their utility for the amount of free solar power their PV system creates from the sun. This smart approach to energy management enables the property owner to cut and stabilize long term energy costs, increase equity in the subject property, eliminate demand for imported energy sources (e.g., coal, oil, and natural gas), reduce carbon and other air emissions, and create local jobs by hiring highly-qualified Florida businesses.
The 500th project was completed by Superior Solar, a SELF-approved contractor headquartered in Altamonte Springs, Florida. SELF expanded into the Central Florida region last year in partnership with the City of Orlando, and the nonprofit pre-qualifies local contractors to verify appropriate licenses, insurance, and favorable track record. Ernie Gomez, Energy Specialist with Superior Solar, said, “SELF is an amazing organization for companies like ours, Florida residents and the economy as a whole. SELF helps more Florida residents finance solar projects, save money, energy and the environment, while also creating more local jobs for Florida companies such as Superior Solar. SELF's program is a true win/win/win solution. We are honored to be one of SELF’s certified contractors.”
SELF Executive Director, Doug Coward, said, “SELF is pleased to be the catalyst for clean energy projects in Florida, and to be helping the George family achieve their net zero home.”