WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.--()--The Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF), a Florida non-profit corporation offering favorable financing for clean energy solutions, and EcoCity Partners, L3C, who launched Florida’s first commercially-focused Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, have joined in another first-of-its-kind partnership to help property owners make cost-effective energy improvements.
“By combining efforts, we can grow the market for energy improvements and create desperately needed job growth while saving people money.”
SELF’s innovative model offers low-interest rate financing for more than two-dozen energy-saving products, including energy efficiency and renewable energy alternatives. SELF’s clients are lowering their energy use by an average of 25% and using the savings to pay off the loans over time. In the process, they are hiring local skilled craftsmen to complete the work, helping to create much-needed employment opportunities for the hardest hit job sector in Florida. The SELF program launched in St. Lucie County and is in the process of expanding throughout the Treasure Coast and Space Coast regions with the goal being to provide capital for projects throughout Florida.
EcoCity Partners administers a funding portal making capital accessible from multiple sources through another innovative program called PACE, which enables property owners to borrow funds for energy-saving retrofits and repay them through their property tax bills. EcoCity Partners launched the first commercial PACE program in Florida, the Florida Green Energy Works Program, and administers the Florida Green Finance Authority, a statewide partnership of city and county governments. PACE financing is only available to property owners in cities and counties that elect to participate, which growing list currently includes Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Lantana, Mangonia Park, Tequesta and West Palm Beach.
While PACE financing for commercial properties is presently viable, residential PACE programs have been impacted by resistance from the Federal Housing Financing Agency, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Loan financing from SELF gives residential property owners an immediately viable financing alternative, including an emphasis on aiding underserved areas in Florida.
“This partnership expands options for residential and commercial energy improvements and helps promote greater efficiencies, reduced operating costs, clean energy alternatives, jobs, and energy independence,” said Doug Coward, Executive Director of SELF. Michael Wallander of EcoCity Partners added, “By combining efforts, we can grow the market for energy improvements and create desperately needed job growth while saving people money.”