Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF)

Your Trusted Home Improvement Loan Program

aka SELF   |   Ft. Pierce, FL   |  www.Solarenergyloanfund.org

Mission

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 info

2012

Executive Director

Mr. Douglas W Coward

Co Principal Officer

Mrs. Maria Duanne Andrade

Main address

2400 Rhode Island Ave

Ft. Pierce, FL 34950 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

27-3102098

NTEE code info

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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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Floridaisalsoastatethatishighlysusceptibletohighenergycostsandclimateimpactsputpropertyownersat high risk, especially in Low and Moderate Income (LMI) neighborhoods where homes are often older inefficient structures with poor weatherization and insulation. Energy costs are a disproportionate percentage of household expenses for low to moderate income (LMI) households. Electricity costs have been steadily-rising in Florida by nearly 5% per year, and housing conditions in LMI neighborhoods are often older inefficient structures that further exacerbate the problem.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

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

SELF is a certified non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) whose mission is to provide financing for sustainable residential and non-residential property improvements, coupled with energy expertise and project management.

The Residential Program offers micro- loans to underserved homeowners in Florida to help them complete an array of sustainable home improvement projects that include: (1) energy efficiency (e.g., weatherization, high-efficiency air conditioners); (2) renewable energy (e.g., solar water heaters); (3) wind-hazard mitigation (e.g., roofs, hurricane shutters, impact windows and doors); and, (4) water conservation and quality projects. Typically, these assorted home improvement projects generate healthier living conditions and safer homes and also provide enhanced comfort and livability and reduced operating costs for the elderly, children, and persons with illness, disease, and other physical impairments.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Seniors

A KIVA loan focuses on providing affordable loans to women and U.S. Veterans. SELF-KIVA loans have a 5 year term with a fixed 5% Annual Percentage Rate (APR) and, they require no collateral.
KIVA is the world’s first and largest crowdfunding platform for social good with a mission to connect people through lending, to alleviate poverty. Through KIVA, with as little as $25, anyone in the world can help fund a loan to start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy and make sustainable home improvements.
Since 2005, KIVA’s global community of over 1.8 million lenders have crowdfunded more than $1.21 Billion in microloans to over 3 million borrowers in 81 countries, with a 96.8% repayment rate.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Veterans

The non-profit Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF) has joined forces with the Green Veterans Group, an initiative of the South Florida Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), to create a new community revitalization and workforce development program that focuses on "Veterans Helping Veterans". The overall goal of the partnership is two fold.First, the program will enable veterans to complete home energy improvements and make structural repairs to their homes, including high-efficiency air conditioners, windows, doors, and roofs. These improvements will help lower energy and insurance bill, provide greater hurricane resistance, and enhance comfort and livability.Second, the home improvements will be completed by other veterans who are participating in the on-the-job training program offered by the Green Veterans Group. Through the pilot initiative, veterans will perform the assorted home improvement work for other veterans in need.

Population(s) Served
Veterans

Several organizations are teaming up to provide affordable Home Adaptation Loan Options (HALO) for disabled and elderly homeowners in Florida. The nonprot Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF), the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST), the Florida Housing Coalition (FHC), and the National Disability CDFI Coalition have joined forces to help disabled homeowners and senior citizens complete much-needed home renovations. The partnership expands access to low-cost nancing for home adaptations, aging in place, and assistive technologies.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Retired people

Where we work

Accreditations

CDFI Cerfied by U.S. Treasury 2016

Affiliations & memberships

Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Certified 2016

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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

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’s primary strategic goal for the next 5 years is to ensure long term sustainability by increasing our lending activity to benefit more people in Florida and beyond. In order to fulfill ourlending goals, SELF will: (1) expand operations into new geographic areas, and (2) provide new products and services (3) increase loan volume.
The SELF organization is actively scaling and diversifying statewide through an expanding contractor network, robust partnerships and seed grants, new financial technologies, and innovation.
Currently, approximately 70% of all SELF-financed projects originate from approved contractors who often need additional financing options for low-wealth and working class clients, including individuals with less than stellar credit. In light of this core fact, and new markets and seed grants in the Tampa Bay region, SELF has hired a new Regional Manager to more than double the statewide contractor network from to 500 companies by 2021. By substantially expanding SELF’s approved contractor network throughout the Sunshine State, with an emphasis on the Tampa Bay region, SELF can strategically scale products and services and overall lending activities to both priority regions and outlying target markets. This new position will also assist with contractor recruitment for new lending products, namely longer-term solar PV loans, discussed in greater detail below.
In fiscal year 2018, SELF also expanded into the Tampa Bay region, which has been a longstanding strategic goal and one of the primary reasons for the substantial increase in forecasted lending activities during the three-year term of the award. SELF finalized new seed grants from Hillsborough County (Tampa) and the City of St. Petersburg (Pinellas County), totaling $600,000 (from 2018-2021), which provides SELF with increased organizational capacity, two new satellite offices, and significant marketing and community outreach to more than 3 million people in the Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater MSA. Furthermore, there is a tremendous need for sustainable building practices in this region, particularly in underserved communities. The Urban Land Institute’s (ULI), April 2018, Realizing Resilience Report, concluded that “the Tampa Bay region is known as one of the most vulnerable in world to wind damage, coastal flooding from storm surge, and rising sea levels”, and “the adverse effects from environmental threats often impact low income communities the hardest”. SELF’s products and services help LMI homeowners adapt to climate change through wind resilience and storm protection, while also mitigating climate change through energy efficiency and clean energy alternatives. SELF also fosters social justice, community revitalization and neighborhood preservation, while fostering entrepreneurialism, green jobs, and on-the-job training and apprenticeship programs.

SELF has a team of 15 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, PACEnow.org, and other non-profits and foundations. SELF was also recently approved as a field partner with Kiva.org 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 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 $20 million in grants and loan capital, expanded to 90 cities and counties in Florida and a handful of projects in AL, GA, and SC. 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. SELF has financed over 1,500 projects totaling $15million with default rates below 2% and 72% of the
lending activity in Low- and Moderate-Income (LMI) communities, 50% for seniors, and 40% for women.
SELF’s clients have reduced average household energy consumption by 25% (i.e., carbon footprint) with energy
efficiency upgrades, and many clients have achieved netzero homes through rooftop solar PV systems. Homeowners are making much-needed home improvements that enhance comfort, health and quality of life, increase equity, safeguard against storms and extreme weather events, and reduce operating costs (energy and property insurance).

Financials

Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF)
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF)

Board of directors
as of 2/7/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Kyle Abney

USGBC & Abney Green Solutions

Term: 2010 - 2015

Kyle Abney

USGBC & Abney Green Solutions

Thomas Cooper

American Institute of Architects Treasure Coast

Fran Ross

Attorney at Law

Bridgette Daley

BankUnited

Kristin Guettler

Director of Finance for Tax Collector of SLC

Scott McCracken

President, Saw Horse Construction

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    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
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Not applicable
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 02/07/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/07/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.