Private investment, U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency Block Grant Program (EECBG); Florida Energy Climate Commission
Minimum of $1,000
St. Lucie County has partnered with local financial institutions and community leaders to establish the non-profit Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF), which will administer a low-interest loan program. SELF will use grant funding and private investments to offer interest rates lower than those associated with similar programs.
In June 2010, St. Lucie County received a grant award through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency Block Grant Program (EECBG). The $2.9 million award is being used to kick-start the SELF pilot loan program, which began taking applications and making loans in early 2011.
SELF will give qualifying residents and business owners the ability to secure financing for:
- Weatherization (insulation, caulking, window and door replacement)
- Replacement of inefficient air-conditioning systems
- Solar thermal and solar photovoltaic (PV) systems
Solar thermal is an eligible improvement if it meets the guidelines described in [http://www1.eere.energy.gov/wip/pdfs/eecbg_10-021_eigibility_guidance_01... EECBG Program Notice 10-021] relative to the reduction of electricity consumption. However, solar thermal will not be considered an eligible improvement for use with swimming pools. PV systems can be added only after energy efficiency upgrades in a building are installed, or if the building is already substantially deemed energy efficient.
SELF will offer loans up to $50,000 for eligible energy enhancements with extended repayment periods. Loan rates vary based for energy efficient and renewable energy project, while the term will be fixed for terms up to 15 years and provide a minimum loan amount of $1,000 and maximum loan amount of $50,000. The total loan-to-value (LTV) cannot exceed 115% of the property appraiser’s market value, the total debt-to-income ratio of up to forty-five per cent (45%) will be used for initial qualification, and a credit report score of at least 650 will be considered.*
*Note: The term of the loan, LTV, total debt-to-income ratio, and credit report score can be non-compliant with policy when compensating factors exist.
SELF has begun the process to transform itself from a revolving loan fund to a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), certified by the U.S. Department of Treasury.