St. Lucie County, FL, September 2, 2016 –
The Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF) is pleased to announce that the non-profit community lending organization has surpassed $5 million in total lending since its inception in the spring of 2011. SELF began as a pilot program in St. Lucie County after being selected as 1 of 20 programs in America to receive seed funds from the US Department of Energy to foster innovative, local clean energy financing programs. SELF finances energy conservation, energy efficiency, solar technologies, wind resilience, and water conservation projects.
Over the last 5 years, SELF has expanded its residential lending program to 58 jurisdictions in Florida and helped nearly 600 families finance sustainable home improvement projects, with 2/3 of the lending activity in low- and moderate-income census tracts and 40% for women. SELF remains headquartered in St. Lucie County, where more than half of the residential home improvement projects have occurred to date.
SELF’s “Green” Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) remains one-of-a-kind in Florida, and their community-based lending activities serve as a clean economic engine that generates triple bottom line impacts in underserved communities. SELF lays the groundwork for climate resilience through robust partnerships, energy assessments, and community outreach, and provides greater access to low-cost capital and innovative financing tools to spawn climate adaptation, climate mitigation and social cohesion.
SELF’s “Rebuilding and Empowering Underserved Communities” program targets low- and moderate-income homeowners, veterans, female heads of household and physically- and credit-impaired individuals. SELF’s financing helps homeowners: (1) complete much-needed home improvement projects; (2) reduce operating costs (i.e., energy, water and insurance rates); (3) enhance comfort and livability; (4) improve air quality and health benefits; (5) increase wind resilience and safeguard home equity; and, (6) reduce greenhouse gases through energy efficiencies and clean energy alternatives.
More recently, SELF and St. Lucie County also partnered in the creation of a new Commercial Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program that has financed more than $200,000 of energy efficiency and wind resilience projects. St. Lucie County Commissioner and founding SELF Board member, Chris Dzadovsky, said, “St. Lucie County is excited to see the success of the SELF program, as it has scaled from its humble beginnings and now helped hundreds of local residents and businesses go green, save money, and create local jobs.”
SELF’s Executive Director, Doug Coward, said, “The $5 million lending milestone highlights the demand for local clean energy financing programs to assist working class families and small businesses.” He added, “It’s also a testament to the hard work of the entire SELF team, Board of Directors, and dozens of local partners and investors.”
SELF’s President and founding board member, Kyle Abney, said, “We are grateful for the strong support that SELF has received from the US Department of Energy, St. Lucie County, and 19 investors, including more than a dozen faith-based organizations all across America.”
For more information about SELF, please feel free to contact the organization by telephone at # (772) 468-1818 or visit www.solarenergyloanfund.org.