Community Improvement, Capacity Building

Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF)

Your Trusted Home Improvement Loan Program

aka SELF

Ft. Pierce, FL


SELF’s mission is to help rebuild and empower under-served communities by providing access to affordable financing for sustainable property improvements including: energy efficiency; renewable energy; wind-hazard mitigation; water conservation; and, water quality.

Notes from the Nonprofit

SELF is now operating across the State of Florida, providing low cost financing to homeowners regardless of credit score- for much needed home improvements including accessibility and aging in place for elderly; energy efficiency; storm mitigation; water quality and more.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Mr. Douglas W Coward

Co Principal Officer

Mrs. Maria Duanne Andrade

Main Address

2400 Rhode Island Ave

Ft. Pierce, FL 34950 USA


SELF, Energy Efficiency, Clean Energy, Financing, Home Loans, Home Improvment, Wind- Hazard Mitigation, Water Conservation





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

Energy Resources Conservation and Development (C35)

Environmental Quality, Protection, and Beautification N.E.C. (C99)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Solar And Energy Loan Fund Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)

Veterans Helping Veterans

HALO - Home Adaptation Loan Options

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

The Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF) is aiming to expand its triple bottom line impacts in underserved communities throughout Central Florida and to increase our overall statewide lending activity to $10 million by 2017 in order to achieve organizational self-sufficiency. In the Orlando region, we are striving to deploy a minimum of $3 million in clean energy financing over the next 3 years to assist approximately 300 low and moderate income households and to enable the organization to sustain the new Central Florida office. Our triple bottom line impacts are measured by the number of low and moderate income homeowners that we assist, including reduced operating costs, much-needed home improvements, increased market value and home equity, enhanced comfort and livability, and reduced carbon footprint. SELF also has more than 70 approved contractors in our network and we track the number of local green jobs created through our programs. SELF is one of a kind in Florida and one of only a few green CDFIs in America that are focusing on clean energy solutions for low and moderate income property owners. We are working to rebuild and empower underserved neighborhoods with more than 70% of our lending activity occurring in low and moderate income communities. SELF has also developed special programs to assist women in distress and veteran homeowners. In the Orlando region, SELF is also working in partnership with the City of Orlando and the Orlando Utility Commission to provide educational materials and energy expertise through an energy auditing process and follow-up consultations. These community outreach efforts and customized programs help inform property owners about cost-effective clean energy technologies and available financing solutions from SELF. Our ""Rebuilding and Empowering Underserved Communities"" program helps low and moderate income homeowners identify and finance wise home energy improvements. Our beneficiaries have reduced their energy use by an average of 23% per household and then redirect their energy dollars back into home improvements, clean energy alternatives, and enhanced quality of life. SELF is kick-starting the clean energy economy from the bottom-up, one home at a time, through customized and personalized service. With 4 years of experience with home energy retrofits in underserved communities, SELF is uniquely qualified to expand these services throughout the Central Florida region and provide more triple bottom line impacts in the Sunshine State.

SELF has proven the green CDFI model in the Treasure Coast region and is now actively scaling and diversifying the program to expand our triple bottom line impacts and achieve organizational self-sufficiency by 2017. Our specific strategies include: (1) Partnerships with local governments, utilities, and other interested parties to expand our service territory and community outreach efforts; (2) Developing a robust network of qualified contractors to generate and perform work for the program; (3) Securing low cost capital from banks, faith-based organizations, and impact investors to enable SELF to provide favorable financing for our clients; (4) Creating earned media, utilizing social media, co-marketing with contractors and local governments, and sponsoring and attending community events; and, (5) Deploying sufficient boots on the ground to cultivate and grow the program in new jurisdictions. These broad approaches enable SELF to connect with low and moderate income property owners and make them aware of our comprehensive services. Our 4 year track record has shown that boots on the ground, earned media, local government support, and co-marketing with contractors have all combined to drive much of our lending activity. As we get established in new jurisdictions, word of mouth also helps us reach our target audience. * Describe in one to two paragraphs your plans for disseminating the lessons learned, outcomes achieved, or best practices identified SELF meticulously collects and disseminates information about our triple bottom line impacts. We participate in DOE's Residential Energy Efficiency Network, the Retrofit Challenge with the Florida Solar Energy Center, the City of Orlando's Green Works program, and a long list of other partners throughout the state and nation. The SELF team also participates in national conferences and webinars with DOE, CDFA, Re-Think Florida, and other organizations to disseminate information and results. SELF is also reporting directly to the City of Orlando. Our primary goal is to scale our award-winning program in the Orlando Metro Region - an area with more than 2 million residents and nearly one million homes. The City's one year grant was the initial building block needed to establish the program, including a full-time staff person and new satellite office. SELF is focusing on low and moderate income census tracts, with a 3 year goal of performing a minimum of 1,500 energy audits and 300 home energy retrofit projects, totaling $3 million. The estimated value of the entire 3 year project is nearly $4.8 million, including $3 million of loan capital and extensive in-kind support from SELF, the City of Orlando, and the Orlando Utility Commission. With strong local partners, new loan capital from First Green Bank, and boots on the ground, SELF is now well positioned to expand the "Rebuilding and Empowering Underserved Communities" program in the Central Florida region.

SELF has a team of 10 that includes an Executive Director, Chief Financial Officer, Operations Manager, Treasure Coast Regional Director, Central Florida Regional Director, Marketing Director, Reporting Officer, Accountant, and full underwriting team. We are headquartered in St. Lucie County and have the staff capabilities to interconnect with and serve new satellite locations. As of January 2015, SELF also has a new full time manager and a new office location in Orlando. SELF also has 4 years of experience working on the front-lines helping underserved communities identify and finance home energy retrofits. To date, we have completed nearly 1,000 energy assessments and closed more than 325 home energy retrofit loans totaling $2.7 million. SELF has raised more than $6 million in grants and loan capital to date, and we have developed robust new partnerships with local governments, utilities, contractors, trade organizations, faith-based organizations, banks, universities, job-training programs, and other non-profit organizations. SELF's Business Plan identified 3 target regions in Florida, including the Treasure Coast, Space Coast, and Tampa Bay regions, and we work closely with local governments in these regions to identify low and moderate income communities with the greatest need and then customize strategies for community outreach and program development. SELF has also garnered national support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA), Banks, the Federal Reserve, faith-based organizations, impact investors, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy,, and other non-profits and foundations. SELF was also recently approved as a field partner with and is now raising funds through their worldwide crowd funding network. Finally, SELF is finalizing multi-million dollar loan agreements with Renewable Funding, Mission Markets, and the Calvert Foundation. SELF has now assembled all of the partners, loan capital, and initial resources needed to create and operate the new Central Florida office. However, these resources are the bare minimum needed to open the new satellite office in Orlando but will not allow us to fully capture the market or continue to expand our triple bottom line impacts in subsequent years. SELF would benefit greatly from additional resources to expedite our scaling efforts in year one, including an additional loan officer and marketing collateral, and we will need additional financial support in the coming 2 years as we exhaust the City's initial support and strive to reach organizational self-sufficiency.

SELF meticulously collects and disseminates information about our triple bottom line impacts and continually analyzes, updates, and adjusts our results and projected activities. Our key indicators include quantitative items, such as the number of low and moderate income clients served, total loans, overall portfolio, energy savings, reduced carbon footprint, and jobs created, while our qualitative indicators include enhanced comfort and livability, and overall customer satisfaction. Reporting is completed by all departments on a weekly basis and submitted to our reporting and underwriting departments as well as to the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director. Loan officers are required to complete detailed pipeline reports in order to provide updates on the current status of their client's projects as well as for customer service purposes. All reported data from staff as well as data output from our downhome and Management Information System (MIS) are then reviewed weekly and subsequently compiled in the form of a results dashboard monthly by the Accountant and Reporting officer. The dashboard is then reviewed by SELF's Executive Director, CFO and Operations Manager and is then released to the Board of Directors, investors and the general public in the Overview and Snapshot templates. SELF continually maintains an MIS system that has been customized to accommodate our unique needs in regards to data collection and reporting. The system tracks all aspects of the organization's triple bottom line as well as all information regarding SELF's clients. SELF utilizes DownHome Loan Manager not only to service active loans, but also to gather reports regarding the status of the active portfolio as well as data regarding the demographics of our clients. Every department of SELF is required to compile and submit reports on a weekly basis that are reviewed routinely. SELF's MIS system maintains and reports the majority of information pertaining to client demographics, marketing and triple bottom line impacts. DownHome Loan Manager (DLM) software in conjunction with QuickBooks is the primary software used to assist with the servicing of SELF's portfolio. SELF's underwriting, accounting and reporting departments routinely pull reports from DLM regarding active portfolio, LMI (Low to Moderate Income) activity and closed accounts.

SELF has accomplished a lot since its inception back in 2010, successfully deploying the original U.S. Department of Energy grant, achieving 501(c)(3) status and certification from the U.S Treasury Department as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), raising more than $6 million in grants and loan capital, expanding from 1 to 6 counties and closing loans in 16 different jurisdictions, creating a new international crowd funding platform with, creating a new ""veterans helping veterans"" program, and most recently, developing, funding and administering the new Commercial Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program in St. Lucie County. SELF has been described by our peers in the CDFI industry as a ""trailblazer"", and our aforementioned success serves as the critical foundation needed for the organization to grow and attain the necessary economies of scale needed to achieve organizational self-sufficiency. To that end, SELF intends to grow our lending activities to $10 million by 2017, including $3 million of lending in the Orlando Urban area over that same timeframe. While SELF is ahead of our original schedule, we recognize that there is much work to be done in order for us to successfully scale, diversify, and sustain the organization long-term. SELF is off to a great start, but we still need financial assistance to enhance our organizational capacity to grow and foster new clean energy markets throughout the Orlando Urban Area and eventually the entire State of Florida. The most important lesson learned to date about developing local clean energy financing programs is that you need boots on the ground to cultivate and grow these programs. Our partnership with the City of Orlando provided essential seed funds to kick-start the program in year one but we still need additional financial assistance to fully capture these opportunities and achieve more triple bottom line impacts in underserved communities.

External Reviews


CDFI Cerfied by U.S. Treasury 2016

Affiliations & Memberships

Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Certified 2016


Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF)

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2018 and 2017
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Not Applicable


Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable


Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Not Applicable


Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable

Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff and Part-Time Staff.


This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff and Part-Time Staff.

Diversity Strategies

We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
We have a diversity committee in place
We have a diversity manager in place
We have a diversity plan
We use other methods to support diversity