For Hometown News
ST. LUCIE COUNTY --
The nonprofit Solar and Energy Loan Fund received official certification as a community development financial institution from the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
A certified community development financial institution is a specialized financial institution that works in market niches that are underserved by traditional financial institutions, the U.S. Treasury says.
CDFIs provide a unique range of financial products and services in economically distressed target markets.
SELF has been planning to become a certified CDFI since the concept of creating a local clean energy financing program was first envisioned by the St. Lucie County Commission in fall 2009.
That same year, SELF was selected as one of 20 local programs in America to receive funding from the highly competitive energy efficiency and conservation block grant program. The initial $2.94 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy has since been used to kick-start the program and provide the initial $1.7 million revolving loan pool.
The independent nonprofit organization was simultaneously created in summer 2010, the Clean Energy Loan Program became operational in spring 2011 and the application for CDFI certification was submitted to the U.S. Department of the Treasury in April 2012.
To date, SELF has completed 777 energy assessments and closed 166 loans totaling $1.44 million.
The CDFI certification comes on the heels of recent announcements by SELF that the organization is beginning to open new commercial lending opportunities in St. Lucie County and expanding into Martin, Indian River and Okeechobee counties beginning on Feb. 1.
The expansion will begin with small pilot programs in the cities of Stuart, Sebastian, Fellsmere and Indiantown, and grow over time as new partners and investors come on board.
For more information, call (772) 468-1818 or visit www.CleanEnergyLoanProgram.org or www.Facebook.com/SolarEnergyLoanFund.