Fort Pierce, FL – The non-profit green lender, Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF), achieved a significant milestone at the end of July by completing over $10 Million of sustainable home improvement projects across the state of Florida.
“SELF was founded on the idea that all homeowners - not just the wealthy - should have access to and benefit from cost-effective clean energy solutions,” said SELF Executive Director, Doug Coward. SELF finances projects that are good for the homeowner, the environment, and the local economy, including major investments like solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and high-efficiency air conditioners.
SELF was established in St. Lucie County in 2010 with a focus on energy efficiency and clean energy but has since expanded its lending products to include loans for roof repairs, hurricane shutters, septic-to-sewer conversions as well as other sustainable building practices. They also have special lending programs and discounted rates for military families, women, and disabled homeowners.
SELF is a Florida-based Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) certified by the U.S. Treasury Department that has financed home improvement projects in 87 jurisdictions in the Sunshine State, with major activity in the Treasure Coast, Central Florida and Tampa Bay regions. SELF works primarily with low- and moderate-income homeowners and approves loans based on the applicant’s ability to pay, rather than credit scores.
“We want to help homeowners -- especially working class and fixed-income residents - be able to afford much-needed home improvements that make their homes safer and healthier, while lowering their energy and insurance bills,” said SELF’s Chief Financial Officer, Duanne Andrade.
SELF has raised over $12 million in loan capital and grants from banks, the U.S. CDFI Fund, and socially responsible investors like faith-based organizations and hospitals. SELF is also an approved field partner with KIVA.org and has crowdfunded over $600,000 of low-interest rate loans for women and military families. The City of St. Petersburg and Hillsborough County also provided seed grants to enable SELF to open up satellite offices on the west coast.
SELF has now closed over 1,000 home improvement loans totaling $10 million with a default rate of less than 2%. Over 70% of their lending activity has helped low- and moderate-income homeowners; 50% for seniors, 40% for women; and, 20% for veterans and military families.
About the Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF):
SELF’s mission is to rebuild and empower underserved communities by providing access to affordable and innovative financing for sustainable home improvements, including energy efficiency; renewable energy; wind-hazard mitigation; water quality and water conservation projects, and more.
SELF finances the following types of projects for Florida homeowners:
Energy Efficiency: high-efficiency HVAC, weatherization, insulation, LED lights
Solar: solar PV panels, solar water heaters, solar attic fans, solar A/C systems
Water and Sewer: septic-to-sewer conversions, lateral line replacement, potable water hook-up, and plumbing repairs
Wind-Hazard Mitigation: roof repair or replacement, impact windows and doors, hurricane shutters
Disability Products: wheelchair ramps, walk-in-showers, accessibility
To learn more visit www.SolarEnergyLoanFund.org