Inclusiv and Inclusive Prosperity Capital bring affordable green loans to homeowners
The Inclusiv Center for Resiliency and Clean Energy (“The Center”) and Inclusive Prosperity Capital (IPC) have partnered to expand the Smart-E Loan, IPC’s national residential green lending program, to New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas, thanks to generous philanthropic support from The Wells Fargo Foundation and the Community Investment Guarantee Pool. To celebrate this partnership and raise awareness of the opportunities this program brings to the Santa Fe community, Guadalupe Credit Union is hosting a Home Energy Earth Day Celebration for local community-based lenders, home energy contractors, and local homeowners on April 22 from 2-4pm at Guadalupe’s Airport Branch (3721 Academy Rd., Santa Fe, NM).
The Smart-E Loan connects local community-led lenders with a network of vetted and approved contractors to help homeowners, including low- and moderate-income (LMI) homeowners, finance and implement home energy and water efficiency, clean energy, and climate resiliency projects. The program helps homeowners save on utility bills by financing home improvements via flexible, low-interest loans and strong consumer protections.
Since 2009, Connecticut, Michigan, and Colorado have been offering the Smart-E Loan and similar products. Over 44,000 homeowners across the three states have made over $540 million worth of home improvements that reduced energy bills and helped to make their homes more comfortable.
“We’re seeing demand nationwide for a financing solution that will allow homeowners to afford the more energy efficient and green choice for their home. This loan program also helps local businesses grow by giving contractors access to community lenders that help them serve even more customers. We’re thrilled to bring the Smart-E Loan’s affordable solution to communities across New Mexico, building on years of experience and success working with local lenders, contractors, and homeowners [in other states],” said Kerry O’Neill, CEO at Inclusive Prosperity Capital.
The Inclusiv Center for Resiliency and Clean Energy leads the burgeoning field of community-based finance for climate action. The Center drives affordable financing to rural, Tribal, environmental justice, and energy communities to help grow local cleantech markets and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Inclusiv, in partnership with the Center for Impact Finance at University of New Hampshire’s Carsey School of Public Policy (UNH), runs a robust training program and network for community-based lenders – including Community Development Credit Unions (CDCUs), Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), and community development banks – that are driving equitable decarbonization across the country.
The lenders that the Inclusiv Center for Resiliency and Clean Energy supports have transformed access to clean energy and energy efficiency in LMI and BIPOC communities, particularly in areas that lack local support for climate action. In just over two years, this training program has guided close to 200 community-based financial institutions across the U.S. to develop affordable financing for decarbonization and nearly 400 credit unions across the country already offer dedicated green loan products. A sample of just 73 of these lenders reported investing over $2.24 billion in green loans in the past 2-4 years, including financing solar installations to serve almost 20,000 households.
Many of these same community lenders are using the Smart-E Loan program to reach LMI homeowners and communities historically marginalized by the financial system. Guadalupe Credit Union, a CDFI and MDI that is building financial empowerment in Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico, will fulfill this mission by offering the Smart-E Loan to homeowners of color and immigrant homeowners, who have limited access to safe and affordable loans. In addition to the climate benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the program can help lower homeowners’ energy bills, increase their financial well-being, and may even increase their property values.
Locally owned and operated contractors, like Sol Luna Solar, join the Smart-E Loan program to continue delivering on their commitment to offer New Mexico residents a consumer-conscious planning and installation experience. IPC selected Sol Luna Solar to join this program because they operate with integrity, respect, and honesty, including fair and transparent pricing, an installation process that meets all safety standards and local/state regulations, and the highest customer care and satisfaction levels.
The Inclusiv Center for Resiliency and Clean Energy and Inclusive Prosperity Capital are thrilled to partner with local groups in New Mexico including with the Credit Union Association of New Mexico, New Mexico Renewable Energy Industries Association, the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce, the City of Santa Fe and others to bring the Smart-E Loan to the state.
“This collaborative pilot to bring the Smart-E Loan program to New Mexico is an important step forward in expanding access to affordable green loans nationwide through innovative green lending platforms,” said Cathie Mahon, President/CEO, Inclusiv. “The lessons learned in New Mexico will help our organizations build credit unions’ green lending capacity nationally,”
As the number of community-based lenders that offer green loan products grows to better serve low- and moderate-income households that require financing for energy efficiency retrofits, electric vehicle purchases, solar installation and other climate resilience investments, community-based lenders will need access to tools like loan participation platforms and the Smart-E Loan program to support this lending.
For media inquiries, contact Neda Arabshahi, Vice President, Inclusiv Center for Resiliency and Clean Energy.
About Inclusiv Center for Resiliency and Clean Energy
As financial cooperatives committed to investing in strong and healthy communities, credit unions are vehicles for change, deploying capital to support local community solutions to seemingly intractable problems. These lenders are now working to fight for climate justice and addressing the disproportionately high energy costs that low-income communities and communities of color face across the nation
About Inclusive Prosperity Capital
Inclusive Prosperity Capital, Inc. (“IPC”) is a not-for-profit investment fund scaling clean energy financing solutions that channels investment capital to program partners in communities that need it most. As a spin-out and strategic partner of the Connecticut Green Bank, IPC is focused on scaling and expanding its successful model nationwide by accessing mission-driven capital and partnerships. IPC operates at the intersection of community development, clean energy finance, and climate impact. Please visit Inclusive Prosperity Capital for more information.