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Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF)
Approved to post Kiva loans from: United States
Solar and Energy Loan Fund, SELF, was founded in 2010 and focuses on community development projects in underserved areas in Florida, with an emphasis on home energy improvements.
SELF provides energy expertise and affordable financing to help low to mid-income homeowners and small businesses identify and make cost-effective energy changes to their homes and businesses.
Energy costs are a disproportionate percentage of household expenses for low-income households and electricity costs have been steadily rising in Florida.
Aunique lending approach:
SELF uses Kiva financing to help female homeowners save money on home energy and build or strengthen their credit rating. These in-kind loans will be given in the form of energy efficiency upgrades or retrofits, and provided to low-income female homeowners that may not have solid credit history, but have income to repay a loan.
The energy efficiency improvements will increase home equity and home market value, provide more comfort and livability for the women and their children, and allow the homeowners to reduce costs.
SELF handles all project management; the borrower's only responsibility is to make monthly loan repayments.
Potential retrofits are identified through an energy audit performed by a state-certified energy rater. Once the SELF-approved contractors have completed the projects, if the retrofits are approved and up to SELF's standards, funds are then disbursed to contractors. Borrowers use energy savings, rebates, and tax credits to help pay off the loans over time.